June 18th, 2010
03:07 PM ET

CNN Poll: Half say Gulf will never recover

Nine in ten Americans say that the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is still out of control, but roughly half say that it is not getting any worse, according to a new national poll.

But will the oil spill get any better?

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Friday indicates that about half the public says that the Gulf will eventually recover, with half saying that will never happen.

According to the poll, opposition to increased offshore drilling has grown 10 points since May and is now twice as high as it was in 2008. Fifty-eight percent of those questioned support a six-month moratorium on new drilling in the Gulf and other offshore sites; 68 percent favor increased regulation of the oil industry in this country.

"There is a gender and generation gap on offshore oil drilling - women and younger Americans are less likely to support drilling offshore and more likely to support a moratorium," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.

Measures that directly target BP are also popular - 63 percent favor lifting the liability cap on BP and 53 percent would support criminal charges against some BP employees or executives.

The public also likes the ideas on alternative energy sources that President Obama outlined in his prime-time speech Tuesday night. Seven in ten favor Obama's proposals to reduce the amount of oil and other fossil fuels that are produced or used in the U.S., and large majorities think those proposals will increase jobs in the U.S. and make life better for the next generation of Americans.

"More than three-quarters of Democrats and Independents support Obama's ideas on this topic. Republicans are split, 46 percent to 46 percent, on them," says Holland. "But most Republicans do say that Obama's proposals would increase jobs and help the next generation."

The survey was the first national poll conducted entirely after the president's address on the oil spill to the American people. Obama's speech directly followed his fourth trip to the Gulf Coast since the environmental disaster began on April 20.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Wednesday, June 16, with 534 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. BreakingNewsBlog.us

    Look at this AMAZING SCOOP about how NASA might help BP to quickly STOP the oil spill (in a few days) using an (giant and very strong) External Tank of the Space Shuttle!!!

    June 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 1101

    Public opinion polls do not determine scientific facts.

    June 18, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Charlie Avila

    Every things take time to show up the results and consequences. I see the gulf dead. And the way of living of most of the United States citizens, changed!!. The sorrounding environment of the US will be polluted. The gulf waters are already polluted and dead. Underwaters organisms are dead. During the rain cycle, the rain ,(precipitation), is mixed NOT with oil, but with the oil chemicals toxic lethal to health compounds. So, rain isn't water anymore, now it is a mixture of organic chemical substances that will filtrate under ground polluting our potable drinking waters!!!. The gulf of Mexico is not the same anymore, now it is the gulf of the death!!...and death will be transported inland by rain(severe weather), in the gulf and by hurricanes!!!. So, my fellow Americans the disaster and dead threats will continue...and to BP and the US president NOTHING has happened!!!, but our country's destruction!!!...

    June 19, 2010 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Smith in Oregon

    The huge release of Methane Gas is dropping the available Oxygen in the Gulf of Mexico region turning it into a ever larger Dead Zone. The Gulf of Mexico ALREADY contains the world's largest Ocean DEAD ZONE which likely is the result of petrol-chemicals and pesticides, before this latest enormous Oil Gusher.

    Severely over fished species in the Gulf of Mexico will likely disappear entirely as has historically occurred in Valdez, Alaska and other areas where a large toxic, poisonous spill of crude Oil has occurred. In those regards, YES those aquatic life will not recover. Many sea life which lays their eggs on the Ocean floor will also be missing for a long time as the crude Oil very slowly degrades or is buried under many feet of sediment. None the less, American's can be absolutely certain that Fisherys, Farmers and Reality Agents will be very actively hawking their sea food, produce and beach front property as if it's not contaminated, not filled with toxins and likely not unhealthy for children to even linger.

    Nineteen Years Later in Valdez, Alaska after a warm spell, You can still SMELL toxic, poisonous Petrol-Chemicals in the pervading wind, Oil slicks, patches and tar balls are still evident! And the Republican lawmakers make that sound Romantic! Enjoy the smell of progress, taste what fuel's America in your food, bathe in the natural harvest of Oil, oh my!

    June 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TJ

    Responsible parties should be tarred and feathered. Then snuffed out just like the gulf's inhabitants.

    June 19, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Outside the box?

    OK you want a solution:

    Right now. They need to put all the scooper barges and tankers and water separators from around the world they can to clean it up! Simple! They need to make a long (flexible) socks to slip over the breach and funnel the oil into holding tanks some how!..... Just think- If it's a flexible hose then they don't need to have a mechanical connection, just slip it on. like a rubber (with and elastic band at the neck) and contain the spill. (kinda like a condom works to contain the blast, sorry but that's the best way to put it), yes these may need to be very long or at least be able to attach "end to end" with other hoses.. This can be done (attached to well) by using robots made for the job (they are already using them anyway). Just slip the dang thing over it and contain it in something like a dang sleeve that floats on the ocean if you have to! Even if they had something like massive balloons (maybe like hot air balloon skins) that would fill up with the oil,(we need these now) and then be released to drift away for recovery later , and then changed out with the next balloon and so on, they could contain it much better than this. Oil Recovery Pods???

    IN the future spills should be cleaned up by "Full Time" "World Emergency Oil Disaster Recovery and Response Teams", who are trained in this sort of thing. And working around the world to clean up other trash in the oceans the rest of the time or by safely transporting oil to help pay for their services. How many countries would pay to have their oceans vacuumed yearly? This will create jobs! Improve waters for fishing, clean up beaches for tourism, this just makes all around good sense.

    It would be simple to have giant ships built or fitted with giant vacuums (with long hoses) and (protected divers) that "suck the oil – and water in, as it comes out of the leak" and then they return it to the sea in a 85%-90% improved state, by separating it "somehow" (oil floats doesn't it?) "in side" of huge tanks . Or ships that come up and scoop up the whole mess off the top and pump it to other ships through flexable hoses,,, Then have other skimmers (with smaller filters or seperators) then remove another 10%.of film and residue from the clean up site (basically filter the water around the site).

    To do the least harm to the envoronment! They have to be on the spill with-in at least 24 hours, with 5-10 big vacuum ships (depending on the spill) ready to vacuum the oil and separate it from the water, , then transport it to other ships or then take it somewhere and refine it. "There is still other $$ money$$ to be made (recovered) off of it." Especially if they catch it right away! Surely its good for something?

    WHen not in use for clean up operations , These same ships could be used to safely transport oil around the world all the time, because, they can clean up their own spills as soon as they start. Maybe that how we should start building them? And we don't drill unless there's an logical clean up plan!

    So building a fleet of these clean up ships ,,and to keep making them, would be not only be profitable but responsible as well and just a wise business decision all around . Therefore all those supporting its management are good companies and counties to buy oil or other petrolium products from, or to visit for tourisim because they care enough to clean up the wor!ds environment and therefore have nice beaches.

    With oil spills... Time is everything , we have to be able to act immediatly! When the red wine tips over on the table, do we not pick the glass back up immediatly, to keep it from getting to the carpet? These ships need to be able to dump their cargo's and aid in the spills from anywhere in the world In less than one week. All ten ships should be on the spill in 7 days or less! The 1st ship within 24 hours! If the countries that have a spill in their yard , havn't paid for the insurance, they will have to help pay extra for the clean up operations and be second in priority.

    These ships and crews should also be Paid for, buy any oil company who drills or ships oil in the oceans of Earth. Simple! Kinda like " clean up insurance" ! Oil Loss & Disater insurance. It will lower their fines also when they do have accidents. Simply by containing the damage it does to the environment, so their is less liability, period!... Its possible -. this one disater alone in the Gulf, could have paid for ten of these ships and crews, such as these suggested, by the time its done! Can anyone see that?

    Simple, if other companies and countries don't want the insurnace , then the united countries on global recovery, don't buy much of their oil...

    Come on – its a green world now! We have to think like it in really big ways, to make really big changes to clean up our really not so big planet, for our chilrdren and for all children to come!

    What if it doesn't stop for over a year or two? We can call the Gulf of Mexico, the Dead Sea of Texico!

    This solution will work and is viable, if greed wasn't such a problem in the first place.
    So .........Anyone have solutions to curing greed, thats the planets biggest problem?

    June 19, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Report abuse |
  7. buddysattva

    Half the people in the poll think it is not getting worse?! Millions of gallons of oil pouring in to the Gulf and it is NOT getting worse?!! What kind of logic is that! That means that half the people surveyed are hopelessly stupid. And they are getting what they deserve for being idiots. Unfortunately, the dolts are going to take all of us down with them.

    June 20, 2010 at 4:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. ReadBetweenTheLines

    "Nine in ten Americans say that the situation in the Gulf of Mexico is still out of control, but roughly half say that it is not getting any worse, according to a new national poll." Yet they poll a paltry 534 adult Americans by telephone.

    This "neighborhood" of people speak for all Americans according to CNN's opening line. I'm not saying everything is hunky-dory in the Gulf, it's not by any stretch, but what I am saying is CNN loves to poll one city block worth of people on a hot topic and then publish the poll as if everyone on the continent were surveyed. Gimme a break.

    June 20, 2010 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Smith in Oregon

    After Hundreds of Millions of Gallons of toxic, poisonous and carcinogenic crude Oil has poured into the Gulf of Mexico, what's another 2 Million gallons per day that a recovery ship is not on station? That region is poisoned for decades, the methane gas alone has created an enormous Dead Zone where available Ocean oxygen is far to low to support aquatic life. Dead is Dead!

    June 21, 2010 at 12:08 am | Report abuse |
  10. Terry in South Carolina

    I haven't heard any scientific information about climate affects related to millions of barrells of oil spilling into the Gulf Stream. I read an article several years ago in National Geographic about the Gulf Stream being the worlds temerature control artery. The article explained how critical the temperature constant of the Gulf Stream is. It circulates warm water to northern Atlantic waters off Europe. It then recycles cooler water back to the equator regions. The article described how a few degree change in the temperature of the Gulf Stream could be catastrophic to the globe not just the Gulf. I have to believe large deposits of oil in the oceans waters will absorb and hold heat. Couldn't this create an irreversible rise in the Gulf Stream temperature and cause rapid melting of polar ice caps. How will BP pay for that? At that point it will be too late for blame. Also I have seen recent story on the History Channel about the large deposits of frozen methane gas under the floor of the ocean. If ocean temperatures rise it would seem the methane gas could thaw and release into the atmosphere. The History Channel story said there was evidence that this had happened thousands of years ago and resulted in a global fireball.

    The problem with all of this is if the government knew these events could occur, they wouldn't tell us. Think about it. Any ecent that could be catastrophic on a global basis wouldn't be reported to the public.

    I guess I would like the world to realize this isn't a Gulf problem. It is a global problem and could already be reaching a critical tipping point.

    Terry in South Carolina

    June 23, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |