For Voters, Energy Concerns Trump Climate Catastrophe, New Survey Shows

May 11, 2022 Updated: May 16, 2022


The inflation rate in the United States is the highest it has been in more than 40 years. Most Americans have never experienced the drop in buying power they’re currently facing.

Historically high (and rising) energy prices are producing a ripple effect throughout the economy, significantly increasing the prices of food and other essential goods and services.

Rising food and fuel prices are a direct result of President Joe Biden’s climate and energy policies.

To fight climate change, Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline partnership with Canada, imposed a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands and the U.S. outer continental shelf, canceled oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, foreclosed drilling on more than half of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, and proposed increasing federal fees and royalties paid by oil and gas producers. Biden also forced new climate-change restrictions on infrastructure projects such as pipelines, while simultaneously making it more difficult and expensive to ship natural gas by rail. He also imposed methane emission restrictions, making it harder and more expensive to develop, store, and transport oil and natural gas.

A new survey conducted by the polling firm Rasmussen on behalf of The Heartland Institute indicates the public largely understands that high prices and shrinking buying power are the result of the Biden administration’s disdain for U.S. oil and gas production and obsession with fighting climate change—and they’re ready for a change, in terms of both policy and leadership.

Despite nearly three and a half decades of alarming climate propagandizing, the Rasmussen/Heartland survey finds that only 30 percent of voters believe it’s “very likely” climate change will be catastrophic for humans, plants, and animals within the next century. Unsurprisingly, having been raised on the pablum of false climate claims since birth, the youngest cohort of voters are the most concerned about climate change.

While the so-called climate crisis may not be ringing many alarm bells among most voters, the survey shows high energy prices certainly are. Eighty-two percent of voters say they’re either “very” or “somewhat concerned” about rising energy and gas prices under the Biden administration.

In response, 60 percent of those surveyed, a clear majority, strongly favor or somewhat favor passing laws to “dramatically increase oil and gas drilling in the United States.” Indeed, by an 18 percentage point margin, survey participants said Biden and Congress should focus more on “increasing oil and gas drilling to help reduce energy prices” than “limiting carbon dioxide emissions in an attempt to reduce climate change.”

The public’s ranking is astute. Data indicate climate change isn’t worsening weather conditions, human health, or the environment. The best research indicates that continued modest warming poses, at most, ephemeral threats to future planetary and human well-being. By contrast, oil and gas are—and for the foreseeable future will remain—vital to maintaining Americans’ present standard of living and current lifestyles, and to ensuring our continued economic and national security. In addition, if one is concerned about reducing hunger and poverty around the globe, fossil fuels are also crucial to solving those problems.

Biden’s and congressional Democrats’ popularity and poll numbers are already upside down. Accordingly, if they want to have any chance of maintaining their majority in Congress in the 2022 midterm elections, they should take this poll seriously. For too long, Democrats have been led by the radical rump of the party, acting as if “the Squad” represents the majority of the public’s desires on energy and climate issues. They don’t now and never have, which this survey confirms.

As proof, a second Rasmussen/Heartland survey found 55 percent of likely voters had a very or somewhat unfavorable opinion of Biden, compared to just 42 percent holding a very or somewhat favorable opinion of the sitting president. Sixty-one percent of those surveyed said Biden should not run for reelection in 2024, and likely voters indicated they would vote for either former President Donald Trump or Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over Biden if the 2024 election were held today.

As my colleague Linnea Lueken stated in a recent press release describing the Rasmussen/Heartland survey results: “This poll confirms that Americans have far different priorities than the Biden administration. Americans are worried about being able to afford the fuel that they need to work and live, and they know that our current oil and gas energy infrastructure is insufficient. … Our elected officials should take note.”

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Sterling Burnett, Ph.D. is a senior fellow on environmental policy at The Heartland Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit research center headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois.