The Minority Report welcomes the following Op-Ed by Thomas Pyle
Not since the days of President Carter’s self-imposed “Gas Crisis” and the long service station lines of the 1970’s has energy been a more important election year issue in the minds of voters. New survey results indicate that voters in this election cycle clearly want more energy production in the United States and that large numbers of voters believe that the federal government can do much more to help our energy industry moderate gasoline prices.
The American Energy Alliance has just launched a robust campaign to educate citizens, policy makers, and the news media on a wide variety of energy and manufacturing issues and the impact of over-regulation. “American Products. American Power.” will take the story of the benefits of increased domestic energy production and manufacturing directly to the American people.
A recent survey of one thousand self-described likely voters reveals that a majority of Americans believe that increasing domestic energy production can have a meaningful effect on gas prices, that a strong energy manufacturing industry is important to the U.S. economy and our future, and that our country is stronger when we make things here in the U.S.
The April survey commissioned by the American Energy Alliance reveals that 77% of Americans agree that increasing U.S. production would put downward pressure on gasoline prices. Even 52% of moderates and 38% of liberals think that additional production of oil would help gas prices “quite a lot.”
Further, 62% believe that, with the right energy policy, gasoline would cost $2.50 per gallon. Even liberals agree (46% to 44%) with the proposition. And when asked if we should produce more oil from the United States or ask the Saudis and OPEC to produce more oil, 87% said they want to produce more oil here at home.
The survey also revealed some startling news for government policy makers and regulators. Voters believe that the federal government needs to properly balance the need for economic growth with the need for environmental protection. Indeed, America’s energy and manufacturing industries and government can work together to avoid policies that have created high costs and provided few benefits. Sixty-five percent of the people surveyed agreed that federal regulations result in more costs than benefits. 64% of moderates and 49% of liberals think that federal agencies sometimes demand changes that result in little or no environmental benefit. Less than a third of likely voters (28%) said that EPA properly balances the need for economic growth with the need for environmental protection.
Remarkably, 83% of total respondents agree that increased U.S. production would reduce our reliance on imported oil, and almost two thirds (64%) believe the President would rather focus on alternative energy instead of oil and gas. That is sobering news for this Administration regarding the direction of this administration’s energy priorities.
When 78% of self-described moderate voters and 55% of liberal voters think that the federal government must adopt a more reasonable approach to regulations, it’s time to begin reversing public policies that are undercutting energy production, job creation, and our economic growth.
As this Presidential campaign unfolds and the candidates fan out across the nation to discuss the economy, the job market, and their plans for meeting America’s energy needs, perhaps they should listen to what the American people want – very simply, more energy and manufacturing here at home.
(Thomas J. Pyle is President of the American Energy Alliance)