A majority of Norwegians still want to search for more oil, but not those living in Oslo and several other Norwegian cities. Yet another survey shows fully 56 percent of the capital’s population opposed to ongoing oil exploration, and only 38 percent in favour.
Residents of small towns and cities showed as many as 64 percent supporting oil exploration, but the survey by research firm Norstat for newspaper Aftenposten also shows cities with populations of more than 50,000 clearly against. Only an average of 48 percent favoured more drilling and production well into the future.
The numbers show clear division between urban and rural voters in Norway. The western portion of the country is home to those most in favour of oil industry development, not surprising since that’s where most of the oil- and offshore jobs are located.
“It’s not unusual that people are more environmentally engaged in cities,” Lan Marie Berg, a candidate for Parliament for the Greens Party, told Aftenposten. Her party is the most climate-oriented of Norway’s nine parties represented in Parliament.
The right-wing Progress Party, meanwhile, has the most voters favouring the oil industry (87 percent): “They understand the link between welfare and jobs,” said Progress leader Sylvi Listhaug. “I think that’s a problem in Oslo, where many don’t understand what oil means for the country.”
The survey still indicates that a national majority also wants to keep drilling for oil and gas, similar to the results of a similar survey last week.