The United States is the largest consumer of energy on the planet but it is also among the most prolific producers. Over the past few years, production of U.S. energy has been increasing thanks to large reserves of oil and natural gas and the country is predicted to become energy independent by 2020. Since the oil and gas industry plays a major part in American economy, it is no surprise that the public is also active in debates regarding energy issues.
According to a recent poll by the Pew Research Center, almost two in three Americans support the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport crude from Canada to Texas. More than half of those interviewed are of the opinion that offshore drilling operations should be expanded.
RELATED: Refinery industry backs pipelines for transportation of crude
However, support for fracking operations has declined. While six months ago, 48 percent approved of hydraulic fracturing as a method of extraction, in September this figure has dropped to 44 percent. The attitude towards fracking is very different between male and female respondents, with 51 percent of men supporting the technology, compared to 38 percent of women.
Meanwhile, almost the same proportion believe that stricter regulations on greenhouse emissions should be introduced. Almost three in five respondents state that developing alternative energy sources like wind and solar power should be a top priority for the country, the survey also found.