While it's true that a recent poll showed Americans do favor drilling over conservation measures (albeit, by a very small margin), what hasn't been discussed is the overflow of Big Oil advertising that is saturating our airwaves of late.
The American people are being deceived into believing that drilling offshore and in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will literally knock down oil prices immediately. This is completely absurd because if the oil companies were really interested in cutting prices for consumers they would start by drilling on already-owned 68 million acres of inactive federal land, thus producing an additional 4.8 million barrels of oil and 44.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas each day.
The only true finding that these polls provide is how much media manipulation works in the swaying of public opinion. If big oil wants more land leases, they will find a way, whether it be through lobbyists or through well-financed ad campaigns. We shouldn't let fear and misinformation guide us during these relatively turbulent times.