By Jeff Luse
A recent poll by Tipp Insights has found that Americans overwhelmingly want energy independence, economic impact statements for all affected communities, and a significant role for energy producers in the Biden Administration’s “Build Back Better” plan.
When asked about the importance of U.S. energy independence, voters from across the political spectrum stated that energy independence was essential and that we should not rely on foreign oil. Specifically, 87% of Republicans and conservatives and 81% of Democrats and liberals shared this view.
Energy independence, brought closer during the past decade by the fracking revolution, has been a boon for economies across the country, providing more affordable energy prices and greater energy security for Americans in every zip code. In addition to this, energy independence has reduced our energy sector emissions—as we transitioned from coal to natural gas – and from foreign oil to more cleanly refined domestically-produced petroleum.
The Tipp Poll found enormous bipartisan support for economic impact statements for all affected communities before the enactment of regulation or legislation. Seventy-one percent said that they were for statements for communities regardless of income, and 72% favored impact studies for low-income communities specifically.
As we have seen under the current administration, executive and regulatory action can have negative ramifications on local economies. In the case of the Keystone XL pipeline, thousands of jobs and billions of dollars of wages were lost when it was blocked by an Executive Order in January. Having economic impact transparency for communities across the economic spectrum would benefit not only these communities but policymakers as well.
Tipp also discovered that the public wants energy makers to have a more significant role in President Biden’s “Build Back Better” program. With 72% of respondents thinking that energy companies should have at least a participatory role in the clean energy transition, it is clear that the American people are looking to the private sector to solve energy issues.
Private sector leadership has created the innovations that power our daily lives. From renewables electricity to natural gas, from Tesla to Ford, the private sector has led the way in reducing emissions. While the government certainly has a role to play, it is the private sector that should lead the way.
In a political world so harshly divided, these findings show that some issues still enjoy bipartisan support. To accomplish its goals, the Biden Administration would do well to listen to what voters want: energy independence, economic impact transparency, and private-sector leadership.