According to a recent survey of 2,086 voters conducted by The Listener Group, 82% of the Florida Panhandle residents are unsatisfied with the federal government while 76% are unsatisfied with the efforts of BP.
However, when asked about their local government’s handling of the crisis, 58% stated they were satisfied.
Also, when asked about their opinion regarding President Obama’s call for a ban for drilling in the Gulf of Mexico for the next six months, 58% were in opposition.
Finally, when asked if they were more likely or less likely to purchase gasoline from a locally owned BP gas station, only 20% said they were more likely.
“I think that when we ran this survey we thought the public’s negative attitude toward BP and the federal government would be present across the board,” Greg Fink (Principal, The Listener Group) stated. “We were surprised to find that the responders made such a sharp distinction between the behaviors of the federal government and the local governments in handling of the BP spill.”
Scott Miller (Principal, The Listener Group) followed, “I believe that this is the first study to specifically target Florida’s Panhandle to determine the feelings of the people most directly affected by this crisis. While this is a national issue, I believe that the people on the front line of this event are in the best position to evaluate the efforts of BP and the various levels of government to the spill.”
We asked Dave Robau, an environmental scientist and executive director of the Gulf Coast Energy Network, to react to the survey.
“I’m not surprised at the widespread dissatisfaction across northwest Florida. There is a lot of anger out there” says Robau.
He added “I think it’s important to clarify that the Obama Administration has imposed a moratorium on exploratory wells, such as the Deepwater Horizon well, not on current drilling operations in the Gulf. There are over 3,600 drilling wells in the Gulf of Mexico and only 33 exploratory wells are affected by the moratorium. The moratorium only impacts about 1/100 of the total number of wells in the Gulf.”
Robau believes that the six-month ban will allow the government to review proposed drilling procedures, evaluate response/mitigation plans, and ensure that adequate safety protocols are in place.” The only thing more devastating than the BP oil spill would be a second one,” says Robau.
The Gulf Coast Energy Network is a Florida-based non-profit that provides technical expertise in all aspects of energy; from energy security, to energy efficiency, and alternative energy sources.
The survey was conducted by an automated system calling 15,000 likely voter households resulting in 2,086 responses. At a confidence level of 99% this survey’s margin of error is +/- 2.3%.