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Survey Finds Americans 'Don't Get' Energy Issues

Survey Finds Americans 'Don't Get' Energy Issues

(NewsUSA) - Energy policy is a political hot potato, oil prices are on a rollercoaster ride of unpredictability and gasoline is at an all-time high of just under (and in many places more than) $3 per gallon. Yet, a new survey finds that most Americans don't understand key energy issues.

API, the national trade association for the oil and natural gas industry, found in its recent online survey that some of the most frequent misconceptions have to do with the size of natural resource holdings and the earnings of America's oil and natural gas industry.

For example, only 8 percent of respondents knew that ExxonMobil, the largest U.S. oil company, does not rank among the top 10 of largest oil reserve holders in the world. (The company actually ranks fourteenth behind an array of foreign government-owned oil companies.)

Almost half of respondents guessed that the industry earned between 10 and 20 cents on every dollar of gasoline sold in 2006. In fact, the industry earned only 9.5 cents on the dollar.

Respondents also overestimated the amount of oil coming out of the Middle East. For example, 60 percent of those polled ranked Saudi Arabia as the top source of oil imports to the U.S. when it actually ranks fifth. Meanwhile, only 10 percent of respondents were able to correctly identify Canada as the top supplier of U.S. oil imports.

"The results of this survey clearly show that we need to do a better job of communicating with people about the realities of global energy markets and our industry," said API President and CEO Red Cavaney.

There is a twofold reality fueling the need for a better understanding of U.S. energy issues and the role of America's oil and natural gas companies: Fossil fuels such as oil, natural gas and coal will continue to supply the vast majority of U.S. energy demand while renewable fuels will account for less than 10 percent of energy use in 2030, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

To close the gap between how Americans perceive the U.S. role in the energy industry and the reality, API has launched a multi-year public awareness campaign.

"Our companies are committed to sharing our perspectives on energy issues with policymakers and the public in the hope that, by increasing understanding, we can all work together to enact policies that ensure a reliable, sustainable energy future now and for generations to come," Cavaney added.

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