TIPP Insights: Americans are united on prioritizing domestic fossils over climate change

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By tippinsights Editorial Board, TIPP Insights

Despite polarization on most issues, Americans unite on energy independence – even if it comes at the cost of climate change priorities. Two-thirds (63%) support drilling for domestic fossil fuels at the expense of climate change.

The IBD/TIPP Poll of 1,308 adults, completed in early March, asked Americans the following question: To what extent do you agree or disagree with the statement: The United States should pursue energy independence even if it means relying on domestic fossil fuels at the expense of climate change priorities?

We tally the responses as follows:

  • 34% agree strongly,
  • 29% agree somewhat,
  • 16% disagree somewhat,
  • 8% disagree strongly, and
  • 13% not sure.
Energy independence

Under The Hood

Americans share the sentiment, crossing political affiliations and ideologies. By party and ideology, the readout for support is as follows:

  • 57% of Democrats,
  • 79% of Republicans,
  • 59% of Independents,
  • 81% of conservatives,
  • 61% of moderates, and
  • 48% of liberals.
U.S. should favor energy independence even if it means drilling over climate change

Backstory

President Biden’s restrictive energy policies have discouraged investments in domestic oil drilling. This has increased our reliance on foreign oil. He canceled the Keystone XL pipeline early in his presidency, sending the wrong message.

As the chart shows, U.S. oil production fell behind during Biden’s presidency.

U.S. production of crude oil

Till recently, the U.S. has been importing 675,000 barrels a day from Russia. As we showed, it helped Putin build a war chest to fund his Ukraine invasion. As part of the sanctions imposed on Russia, President Biden banned the import of Russian oil.

With soaring energy prices, the U.S. is suffering the worst inflation in 40 years. As a result of recent geopolitical turmoil, some oil analysts expect the crude to hit $150 a barrel.

The U.S. is pursuing Venezuela, the U.A.E, and Saudi Arabia to fill the gap. But the Biden administration has failed to look in our backyard. President Biden is not engaging the U.S. oil industry. The Democratic party and the oil industry are not the best of friends.

Gasoline prices are skyrocketing.  The Consumer Price Index reported last week showed a 38% increase at the pump over the past year. The increase in energy prices also boosts food prices due to costlier transportation.

Implications

As recent events have shown, foreign oil is not dependable. And the transition to renewable energy may happen over time, but the sector has a long way to go before it can fully provide the country’s energy needs. But we do need oil today.

Our poll data demonstrates that Americans don’t subscribe to the President’s extremism. They favor energy independence even at the cost of climate change.

President Biden must pursue a more balanced policy to achieve energy independence. While we can pursue strategies that reduce the oil demand, like a four-day workweek and improve energy efficiency across the board, these will only make a dent and not solve the problem.

To ensure fuel security, we must increase drilling in the United States.

Read more from TIPP Insights

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