We analyze patterns in environmental views of Gulf Coast residents, in the wake of the 2010 oil spill. To what extent do spill-related and other environmental views vary with individual characteristics, personal experience with the spill, or characteristics of place?
About 2,000 residents of selected coastal regions in Louisiana and Florida were interviewed by telephone in late summer 2010.
One-quarter of the respondents said that their environmental views had changed as a result of the spill. Despite reporting more change, more spill effects, and greater threats from climate-induced sea-level rise, Louisiana respondents were less likely to support a deepwater moratorium, alternative energy, or resource conservation.
Results are consistent with real effects from the spill. Differences between Louisiana and Florida respondents are not explained by spill effects or individual characteristics, however. The patterns reflect biophysical differences of the coastlines that shaped their socioeconomic development.