The Petroleum Association of Wyoming has released excerpts from a statewide poll showing a majority of likely voters in Wyoming support oil and gas development.

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According to the poll, which has been done over the past several decades, conducted from Feb. 6 to 9, 88% of Wyoming voters approve of oil and natural gas production in Wyoming, with 70% of voters strongly approving.

When asked "do you think that activities like exploration, grazing, timber, and mining can be compatible with recreation, hunting, fishing, and preservation, or are they in conflict," 49% were strongly confident and 28% were somewhat confident with that statement.

Another question "would you say that the overall number of rules and regulations from federal, state, and local governments is either too many, too few, or about right," had 51% of respondents saying there were too many, up from 32% in 2020, and up from 22% in 2000.

Among other questions asked in the poll:

  • 86% of Wyoming voters feel that the instability in Russia and the Middle East reinforces the national security value of oil and natural gas production in Wyoming.
  • 86% of voters said a great deal or a good deal of their local economy receives benefits from drilling.
  • 35% of voters strongly agreed and 39% somewhat agreed that "the best way to reduce carbon emissions and deal with climate change, while maintaining an everyday way of life is to increase the use of natural gas, a much cleaner-burning fuel."
  • 16% somewhat disagreed and 52% strongly disagreed with paying more for energy to curb climate change.

Ryan McConnaughey, Vice President and Director of Communications Petroleum Association of Wyoming, said those were the only two questions pertaining to climate change in the poll, and that they had only added those types of questions recently.

McConnaughey said that he is unable to release the entire poll due to proprietary information.

Usually, McConnaughey said, they do these types of polls every five years, with the last two being done in 2014 and 2020, but have decided to start doing them every two years going forward to get a more accurate picture of what people in Wyoming think.

While they wish they had been able to do the poll after Russia had invaded Ukraine, McConnaughey said if they had it probably would have shown even greater support for oil and gas.

"As noted in the release, this was done prior to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I would be fascinated to see what would have changed," McConnaughey said. "Just guessing, we'd probably see even stronger numbers on the desire to produce more domestic oil. But it would definitely be interesting to see post the Russian invasion."

In terms of demographics in the poll, out of the 500 respondents, 52% of respondents were women, 48% were men, 70% of respondents are registered Republicans, 16% are registered Democrats, and 11% identified as either independent or other.

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