Big news from our friends at the Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy as a recently commissioned Mason Dixon poll suggests that Virginians support offshore drilling by a 55-39 margin.

“These results are encouraging for those who believe that America needs to become not only energy independent but can become a major supplier of critical energy needs for our allies in an increasingly dangerous world. And, of course, more supply should mean pressure to keep our energy prices lower than would otherwise be the case,” said Michael Thompson, President of the Thomas Jefferson Institute.

“We wanted to find out if our citizens supported off-shore oil and gas development if exploration proves that large quantities exist, if drilling can be done in an environmentally safe way and if such development means that significant numbers of jobs can be created,” said Thompson. “Under these conditions it is clear that our citizens support off shore drilling for gas and oil.”

The survey shows that every region of the state supports off-shore drilling, What was most surprising was that the people in the Hampton Roads area, where off-shore drilling will have a largest impact, show support by a 55% to 41% margin. Northern Virginia was least supportive showing 50% support with 45% in opposition.
“We weren’t at all sure what the results would be in such a survey, but it was important to know what a respected national polling firm would find out. We were pleasantly surprised that Virginians understand that if large quantities of oil and gas are sitting off our coast, and if these resources can be developed responsibly, then the support is there to move ahead.”

The Thomas Jefferson Institute for Public Policy released the Mason Dixon results of 625 registered Virginia voters who were surveyed by telephone. This survey was conducted January 23 through January 25, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

The complete survey results can be found by clicking here.