To:                  Regulation Alert, Inc.

From:             John McLaughlin

Re:                  Examining The Crude Coalition Polls – PA and IL

Date:             September 15, 2015                                                                                                                   


As a result of our July National Poll which found strong national support for the arguments to lift the U.S. Oil Export Ban and the Crude Coalition’s two statewide polls which did not, the Regulation Alert team has correctly asked for an explanation in the difference in the findings.


First, we must point out that Regulation Alert has released the full wording of each question, the order in which the questions were asked and the demographics of the national poll. All the questions   asked in the Regulation Alert poll were documented for us by expert studies and documentation for accuracy.


In contrast, The Crude Coalition has only released selective information in their memos where studies provided by experts within the industry would contradict their assertions.


For example, the Crude Coalition memo claims that “49 percent of likely Pennsylvania voters initially oppose lifting the crude oil export ban, while only 39 percent are supportive. And 48 percent of likely voters were less likely to re-elect a legislator who would support lifting the ban, while only 31 percent would be more likely to do so.” Then they state similar numbers for Illinois.


However, The Crude Coalition does not release the actual poll results, only a memo with the results for each state.


In the Illinois memo, The Crude Coalition states on page 1 in the 3rd paragraph that “when voters are made aware of the exact number of jobs that could be lost in Illinois (at least 3,500 jobs tied directly to refining), fully three-quarters of likely voters are much less likely to support a law allowing domestic oil to be refined overseas as it would put their neighbors and relatives out of work.”


The Crude Coalition never releases the exact wording of the question or the order. A statement like this one could severely bias the poll and manufacture the results that The Crude Coalition has released.


On page 2 of the Illinois memo, The Crude Coalition document frames the wording of the support/oppose result at the top of the table as follows: “Current law makes it illegal to export US crude to other countries. Based on what you know today would you support or oppose a law that would allow US crude oil…” That’s it. There is no idea what the wording was after…? The Crude Coalition could have put anything in there which could bias the result, but they don’t tell us. Their ” …” implies it. Also framing it as “illegal” created a bias.


The Crude Coalition needs to release the full poll with the full wording and the full order of the questions which were asked. It appears to be a “push poll” rather than an unbiased poll. The fact that even with Crude’s bias, Republican base voters are still more likely to support is interesting.


Ironically, on page 3 of the Crude document they refer to jobs and the economy in their “Ballot Implications” as “being a core importance” issue. But how Crude can argue that lifting the U.S. Oil Export Ban won’t create more American jobs and will lose jobs, destroys the premise of their research. Regulation Alert Inc. has provided third party expert documentation that contradicts Crude’s question.


Regarding The Crude Coalition’s Pennsylvania memo there appears to be even greater bias. On page 1 they have a table at the bottom which has the same incomplete wording of their support/oppose question.


At the bottom of page 3 of the Crude memo, they show a chart with 8 negative messages which are numbered up to 16. So there could be up to 16 push questions that were asked to bias their poll. The premises of these negative messages appear to be debatable at best and according to the third party expert research provided to Regulation Alert Inc. some are false. Here are the 8 push messages the Crude Coalition say they tested:


  1. Shipping oil overseas will put neighbors and relatives out of work.
  2. Keeping oil prices low will create and sustain more jobs than exporting oil ever could.
  3. Would mean we are sending oil to China
  4. S. refineries have the capacity to process all of America’s crude oil.
  5. Shipping oil overseas will increase the price of oil.
  6. Exporting oil will further our dependence on foreign countries for energy.
  7. Need to protect ourselves from hostile governments.
  8. Lifting the ban would amount to the government changing the rules of the game.


Until the Crude Coalition fully releases their polls and documents their assertions, the American people should dismiss the Crude Coalition poll as a push poll and debate the arguments they make. It makes no sense that producing more oil in America means less American jobs and higher prices for consumers?


Our poll for the Regulation Alert Inc. has been fully disclosed with full wording of the questions, full order and Regulation Alert Inc. has been provided with third party expert documentation. People can judge the findings for themselves.


For More Information Please Contact:


Carolyn Malenick – (202) 547 – 3392

John McLaughlin – (845) 365-2000


To view the memo above in .pdf form please click here.

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