Poll shows South Dakotans want action on national energy policy

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3, 2001 — Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, results from a survey of polled South Dakotans, conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide and released today by Arctic Power, show signs of significant support for increasing domestic energy production as a key element in protecting our national security and boosting our economy.

Seventy-eight percent of those polled say they want Congress to place a high priority on adopting a comprehensive National Energy Plan that addresses increasing domestic supplies of energy, including the development of oil and gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). Fully, 54% of respondents think the positives of ANWR production outweigh the negatives.

The heightened concern expressed regarding action on energy now is that America’s growing dependence on foreign oil from countries like Iraq makes America more vulnerable to future attacks while the economic implications have caused unemployment to rise. The survey showed that 70% of South Dakotans cite job creation as top benefits of enacting a comprehensive National Energy Plan, and 73% point to decreased reliance on foreign oil sources.

Development of oil and gas in Alaska’s Coastal Plain of ANWR could create more than 1800 jobs to South Dakota’s working men and women. The economic impact alone would bring more than $4 million dollars to state. “The American people are clearly calling on our government to take steps now to improve our national security, and take steps to protect our economy,” said Jerry Hood, Special Assistant to James Hoffa on Energy, International Brotherhood of Teamsters. “Because it is expected to create over 735,000 jobs across the United States, opening ANWR now and passing comprehensive energy legislation should be a top legislative priority.”

“This is not a time for Congress to take a wait and see approach about our nation’s energy security,” said Roger Herrera, Washington, D.C. Coordinator for Arctic Power. “In order to combat the war on terrorism, Americans believe energy security is a key component in the effort to improve our national security.”

The survey tested 600 registered and likely voters in South Dakota on October 1-2, 2001 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.0%.

About Arctic Power

Arctic Power is a grassroots, non-profit citizen’s organization that advocates jobs and energy for Americans through development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s (ANWR) resources. The organization is committed to securing congressional and presidential approval of legislation opening the Coastal Plain of the ANWR to responsible oil development.

The grassroots coalition comprises of citizens from Alaska and across the nation who hail from a full economic spectrum including miners, fishermen, tourism operators, transportation companies, labor unions, Alaska Native Corporations, elected officials and more. The organization is governed by a board of directors representing all regions of the state of Alaska. http://www.anwr.org

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