Eight out of 10 Coloradans would crackdown on speculation and market manipulation to fight high oil prices.

DENVER – Coloradans blame market speculation and oil companies for high gas prices, and the vast majority say the best way to bring prices down is to crackdown on market manipulation, according to an internal poll released today.

The Checks and Balances Project commissioned Colorado pollster Chris Keating to conduct research that shows that 79 percent of Coloradans favor a crackdown on oil price speculation and market manipulation to reduce gas prices. The survey showed 77 percent of Colorado voters think reducing oil consumption through efficiency would be an effective way to reduce prices.

“Coloradans are tired of paying for their gas twice: once at the pump and again through their taxes,” said Matt Garrington of the Checks and Balances Project. “It’s clear car and truck drivers in this state want solutions to this problem now, including a crackdown on market manipulation, a balanced approach to energy development and an end to taxpayer handouts for oil companies.”

Coloradans strongly favor ending taxpayer subsidies for oil companies. Seventy-two percent of Coloradans say ending oil company subsidies and transferring them to companies that are developing wind and solar power would be an effective strategy for the nation.

“It’s time for oil and gas companies to stand on their own two feet,” said Garrington. “Coloradans understand that we simply can’t afford to pay billions in taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil. It is simply immoral to continue the Big Oil gravy train when Americans have been asked to sacrifice billions in cuts to Medicare.”

To reduce gas prices seven of 10 Coloradans favor diversification of the sources of energy by creating a national renewable electricity standard that requires 20 percent of electricity to come from sources like solar, wind and geothermal power.

The live telephone poll conducted May 24-26, 2011 by Keating Research, Inc. as an internal messaging survey. It was released to the public on the eve of the Americans for Prosperity “Running on Empty” Colorado tour stops that promote increased oil drilling. The Checks and Balances Project criticized the group as a front for Big Oil and noted that billionaire oil refinery tycoons David and Charles Koch fund the organization.

“The Americans for Prosperity tour is running on empty ideas. Instead of investing our energy dollars into drilling deeper and putting Colorado land and water at risk, we need to build cars that can go further on a gallon of gasoline and to tap into the clean energy of the wind and sun – energy sources we have right here in Colorado that never run out,” said Garrington.

Results of the survey were based on 603 interviews with registered Colorado voters statewide. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.