This week Headlamp has invited candidates for U.S. Senate and U.S. House to submit guest columns on their view of energy and resource development in Alaska. We will print one column each day this week. The views and opinions expressed by the candidates are not necessarily representative of those of AKHeadlamp.
Why I’ll never stop saying ‘drill, baby, drill!’
I’m pretty sure everybody knows the core of my position on energy policy: “Drill, baby, drill!”
That’s more than just a catchphrase, though; it’s a rallying cry. It’s a plea that I’ve been making to the entire country – especially our political leaders – for well over a decade. It’s also shorthand for the principles that guide my approach to public policy.
You see, I’m a true believer in the philosophy that drove the Reagan Revolution in the 1980s, and which remains a key part of the MAGA Movement today: Small government, low taxes, federalism, strong national defense, respect for individual liberties, fealty to the original meaning of the Constitution as it was written by the Founding Fathers.
Look, I understand why the federal government thinks it has a role in shaping a national energy policy. In times of crisis, sometimes a nationally coordinated effort is called for. When there’s an energy shortage – when prices are rising and people can’t afford to put gas in their tanks or heat their homes – the federal government has tools at its disposal that it can use to stimulate domestic energy production and ease the burden on American families and businesses.
Tax credits or deductions and regulatory reprieve, for instance, can help energy producers get new projects off the ground faster and can alter the financial calculus in favor of some projects that might otherwise have been abandoned.
Unfortunately, it’s no longer the case that both political parties support common-sense approaches to making energy more abundant and affordable. Over the past two decades, the democrats have refashioned themselves into an anti-energy party. Democrat politicians compete with each other to see who can come up with the most hare-brained scheme to make life harder on the people they’re supposed to serve.
Politicians like John Kerry, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden have been talking about shutting down domestic oil and gas production for years, even when the country was in the throes of the Great Recession and Americans needed every economic boost we could get. I’ve never been able to understand why they have such disdain for ordinary Americans – the Joe Six-Packs who need good-paying jobs and affordable fuel for the cars, trucks, and homes.
The solution is so simple! All the oil we need is right beneath our feet. All we have to do is “drill, baby, drill.” So that’s what I said. And millions upon millions of Americans heard me and took up that rallying cry. Despite the left’s increasing opposition to energy development, we started a movement kept getting stronger with every election cycle. From the Tea Party to President Donald Trump, support for domestic energy steadily grew.
Thanks to this popular and political support, technological advances such as fracking made oil and gas extraction easier and cheaper than ever before. By the end of Trump’s first term, there was a glut of American energy on the market that drove prices down to previously unimaginable levels. We were putting the squeeze on Russia and OPEC instead of the other way around. It was a great time to be an American.
Now, though, we face a resurgence of political hostility to clean, abundant American energy. Joe Biden’s “30 by 30” plan is a nightmare for American energy independence – not to mention for our economy. Biden wants to make us poorer and more dependent on our enemies like Russia and Iran, simply for the sake of bragging about all the oil and gas we aren’t producing here at home. The Feds have already locked up way more than 30% of Alaska and it has hurt our economy.
It’s a disaster for America. And the solution today is the same as it was back in 2008. We just need to “drill, baby, drill.” If we just open up the spigots and let American workers get back on the job, we could get right back to energy independence, employ thousands of blue collar American workers, and quickly bring energy prices back down to a level that is affordable for working families. At the same time, lower energy prices would serve as a massive stimulus for virtually every sector of the economy, potentially bringing us out of the recession that the radical democrats’ reckless policies created.
In other words, the federal government needs to get off our backs and get back on our side. Instead of standing in the way of economic growth, the federal government should give the states a much larger role in managing the development of our God-given natural resources.
Listen, we know how to do this in a responsible, ethical way. We’ve been doing it for many decades in Alaska. Drilling for American oil and gas is WAY better for the environment than buying dirty oil from Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Remember when they said the Trans-Alaska Pipeline was going to somehow devastate the caribou population? Well, it’s been over 50 years, and the caribou are still frolicking – they’re often seen cozying up to the pipeline for warmth during the winter months and taking advantage of the elevated infrastructure for shade in the summer months.
Like all Alaskans, I have a deep appreciation for the beauty and splendor of the natural environment of our state – but I also have a deep appreciation for the bounty of natural resources that God has blessed us with, and I want to make sure that we’re developing those resources to benefit the people of Alaska, rather than just leaving them in the ground to satisfy misguided environmental activists in Washington, D.C.
Just like Alaska’s Willow project which could produce 120,000+ barrels of oil per day, and Pikka which could produce 80,000+. Both are critical for Alaska’s economic future and would reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We’ve already proven we can do it right.
So, when you hear me say “drill, baby, drill,” know that it’s not just some hastily contrived applause line I use in political speeches. “Drill, baby, drill” is a philosophy that I believe in with every fiber of my being. It’s a reflection of the principles that have guided me throughout my career in public service.
Sarah Palin is the former Governor of Alaska and the leading GOP candidate in the ongoing race for Alaska’s at-large congressional seat.