Oil execs and consumers agree: unfriendly oil is scary

A survey released today by accounting firm Deloitte & Touche finds U.S. dependence on oil from unfriendly regions is a top concern for both consumers and energy industry executives.

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A total of 29 percent of oil and gas executives surveyed and 27 percent of consumers cited “dependence on oil from places unfriendly to U.S. interests” as the most critical energy issue facing America.

“The majority of the world’s oil and gas reserves are located in places many consider unfriendly to the U.S.,” said Gary Adams, Vice Chairman, U.S. Oil & Gas Leader, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP. “With the growing trend toward energy resource nationalism, it is easy to understand the anxiety about being too reliant on these sources. It is a troublesome trend for consumers and industry executives and ranks as their number one concern in the survey.”

The second highest concern among consumers and industry executives is a lack of realistic energy policy for America, with 29 percent of industry execs and 18 percent of consumers giving the issue a priority.
The report was released this morning at the annual Oil & Gas Conference the firm holds in Houston every year.
Despite a whitepaper presented today by independent advisor Joseph Stanislaw that said the convergence of climate change and energy security has mainstreamed conservation, neither consumers nor industry executives reported much concern about energy conservation. A lack of energy conservation was reported as a concern by only nine percent of consumers and six percent of oil and gas executives in the survey.
Other findings:
* 19 percent of consumers ranked high gasoline prices as a key concern
* 20 percentof company executives reported angst about diminishing domestic oil and gas supplies
* most respondents in both groups (67 percent of execs and 55 percent of consumers) believe companies will commit less than 20 percent of their capital to renewables.
* 57 percent of execs believe they are playing an important role in solving America’s energy needs but only 27 percent of the public agrees.
* 17 percent of consumers and just 10 percent of execs saw government as good problem-solvers for energy.
Now the fine print: The Deloitte survey on “The Role of Oil & Gas Companies in Solving U.S. Energy Issues” was conducted by International Communications Research as a telephone survey in October 2007. A total of 504 consumers were polled with a sampling margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent, and a total of 200 oil and gas industry executives were surveyed with a margin of error of +/- 6.9 percent.

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