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‘Drill, baby, drill’ becomes a 2024 slogan as polls show voters’ concerns center on economy

With inflation and the state of the economy rating high on voters’ concerns, energy is likely to be a key issue in this year’s presidential election.

Published: January 16, 2024 11:00pm

Updated: January 17, 2024 12:35pm

Former President Donald Trump took a solid lead in the Iowa caucuses Monday, and following his victory, he reiterated his plan that, should he take the White House in November, he’ll return America to energy independence.

“We're going to drill, baby, drill right away. Drill, baby, drill,” Trump said.

With inflation and the state of the economy rating high on voters’ concerns, energy is likely to be a key issue in this year’s presidential election.

“Make no mistake, energy is on the ballot in 2024. Americans from Iowa to New Hampshire know that energy underpins every facet of their daily lives, and they are voting accordingly,” Rick Whitbeck, Alaska state director for Power The Future, an energy advocacy group, told Just The News.

Palin debates Biden

Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele first used the “drill, baby, drill” slogan at the 2008 Republican National Convention, but it was former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who popularized the phrase.

During the 2008 vice presidential debate between Palin and Joe Biden, who was then President Barack Obama’s vice president, stated that presidential candidate John McCain had, as senator, voted 20 times against funding wind, solar and biofuels projects.

McCain thinks “the only answer is drill, drill, drill. Drill we must, but it will take 10 years for one drop of oil to come out of any of the wells that are going to begun to be drilled,” Biden said.

Palin confirmed McCain’s position on the matter in that debate.

“Yes, Senator McCain does support this. The chant is ‘drill, baby, drill.’ And that's what we hear all across this country in our rallies because people are so hungry for those domestic sources of energy to be tapped into,” Palin replied.

Contrary to Biden’s prediction six years ago, it didn’t take 10 years for wells to produce. At the time of the debate, the U.S. was producing 4.7 million barrels of oil per day. As of October, that’s risen to 13.2 million barrels per day.

“‘Drill baby, drill!’ is more than just a catchy tagline. It is the path to economic and political stability. Trump gets it, and apparently, so do the voters in Iowa,” Power the Future's Whitbeck said.

Resonating message

While oil production managed to hit record levels, it’s not something Biden readily uses to push back against criticisms of his anti-fossil fuel efforts.

Biden has pursued an aggressive green energy agenda during his time in the White House. Besides building out wind and solar, he’s fought oil production on public lands, including the Gulf Coast. This has presented a problem for refining, as much of the heavy “sour” crude that America’s refineries use come out of the Gulf of Mexico.

Electricity prices have soared since Biden took office, data from the United States Department of Labor show, and in turn, the cost of energy can have wide impacts on the economy, according to the World Economic Forum.

Perhaps that’s why, according to a Poll, voters are supportive of a pro-fossil fuel message. The poll showed that 49% of U.S. adults support Trump’s energy policy, while only 40% disagree. Of those polled, 11% were undecided.

“They’ve seen what four years of Trump brought: low energy prices, energy independence and economic prosperity.  They’ve seen what three years of Biden have brought: record inflation, energy prices through the roof, and foreign countries taking advantage of U.S. energy vulnerabilities,” Whitbeck said.

In contrast to voters’ concerns about the economy, most of them are not particularly concerned with climate change.

Hayden Ludwig, director of policy research for Restoration of America, a self-described conservative organization told Just The News he thinks support for net zero peaked a couple years ago.

“Under the Biden regime, we've seen the green New Deal actually get implemented. And clearly, when Americans see these policies put into practice, they've run away screaming for the hills,” Ludwig said.

So, he continued, candidates who have a sensible energy strategy that proposes energy independence and a remedy for rising utility bills are going to resonate more with voters. “I believe Republicans and President Trump are set up to absolutely defeat the left catastrophically on that issue,” Ludwig said.

Americans, he added, are beginning to recognize the ramifications of the climate agenda, which includes impacts on what cars people drive, what foods they eat, what appliances they can use, when they can travel by airplane, and how they heat their home.

“That's why this is the Green New Deal administration. Even Biden's inflation Reduction Act, the name of the lie, was a green agenda bill, the biggest climate bill in U.S. history. And look what it's gotten us. It's caused more government-created inflation,” Ludwig said.