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What America Is Thinking On Energy Issues - Poll: 79 Percent Of North Carolina Voters Favor More Oil And Natural Gas Development

RALEIGH, N.C., March 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Seventy-nine percent of North Carolina voters favor increased production of domestic sources of oil and natural gas, and only nine percent oppose it, according to a new poll released today. Ninety-three percent of voters said increased domestic production is important to them.

" North Carolina voters recognize that the U.S. has the opportunity to develop its own abundant supply of oil and natural gas for future energy needs," said North Carolina Petroleum Council Executive Director Bill Weatherspoon. "As a coastal state with both offshore potential and shale natural gas reserves, producing oil and natural gas in North Carolina has a long list of benefits — including tens of thousands of new jobs and billions of dollars in additional revenue to the state."

The telephone poll of 601 registered North Carolina voters found that a 60 percent majority support hydraulic fracturing in the state and 74 percent support offshore drilling off the North Carolina coast. Large majorities believe that increased access to U.S. oil and natural gas resources could lead to more American jobs (93 percent), strengthen U.S. energy security (91 percent), help stimulate the nation's economy (91 percent), help lower energy costs for consumers (85 percent), and lead to more revenue for the government (85 percent).

The North Carolina legislature authorized and directed the Mining and Energy Commission to oversee a safe and responsible shale energy production plan in the state that will lead to permitting for increased oil and natural gas production, including hydraulic fracturing. Governor Pat McCrory is also working with South Carolina and Virginia to urge Washington to open the Atlantic for needed new offshore seismic work and leasing that could lead to the creation of high-paying jobs in the southeast region and a better energy future for the country.

"Today's poll confirms strong support among voters for increasing domestic oil and natural gas production is the way forward for jobs and our economy," said Weatherspoon. " North Carolina has the potential to become the energy capital of the southeast and both hydraulic fracturing and offshore oil and natural gas production are key opportunities for the future of our nation's energy security and economic growth."

The North Carolina Petroleum Council is a division of API, which represents all segments of America's technology-driven oil and natural gas industry. Its 500-plus members provide most of the nation's energy. The industry also supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers $85 million a day in revenue to our government, and since 2000, has invested over $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

Methodology: The telephone study was conducted on March 7-10, 2013 by Harris Interactive on behalf of the American Petroleum Institute (API) among 601 registered voters in North Carolina, with a sampling error of +/- 4.0%. A full methodology is available upon request.  Harris Interactive is one of the world's leading custom market research firms, known widely for the Harris Poll. For more information, visit www.harrisinteractive.com.

"What America is Thinking on Energy Issues" is a public opinion series provided by API, offering data to inform policy discussions and ensure policymakers and others know American's perspectives on key energy issues.

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