Gas prices blamed on companies, foreign nations

April 18, 2012 2:15:57 PM PDT
A new Elon University poll showed a majority of North Carolinians are pointing the finger of blame for recent gasoline price hikes directly at oil companies and the foreign countries that produce oil.

Respondents were asked how much blame, with "1" being "no blame at all" and "5" being "a great deal of blame," each of the following deserves for the recent increase in gas prices.

The total percentage of respondents who answered either "4" or "5" were:

  • Oil Companies: 71 percent

  • Foreign Countries That Produce Oil: 58 percent

  • The Policies of the Obama Administration: 42 percent

  • The Policies of Democrats in Congress: 41 percent

  • The Driving Habits of American Consumers: 40 percent

  • The Policies of Republicans in Congress: 35 percent

  • Environmental Regulations: 34 percent

"It's no surprise that North Carolinians are looking for someone to blame. Big oil and the oil-producing countries are easy targets because they produce and deliver the product to us," said John Robinson, director of communications for the Elon University Poll. "Behind them come the Democrats in power in Washington. But we don't spare ourselves: 40 percent of respondents said we have met the enemy and he is us."

Pollsters also asked questions related to the practice of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," where high-pressure, chemically treated water is forced into the ground to extract natural gas. Fifty-seven percent said they don't know enough about the issue to either support or oppose the practice in North Carolina.

Twenty-one percent said they approve of fracking and 22 percent said they oppose it

The poll, conducted March 26-29, 2012, surveyed 534 North Carolina residents and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.24 percentage points.

Click here for more on the poll.

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