Joe Biden’s presidency has foundered as gasoline prices have soared, with readings in numerous polls showing record or near-record low favorability. Biden’s climate change policies, which many blame for the sudden surge in fuel costs, are now highly unpopular among average Americans, a new I&I/TIPP Poll shows.
For our online July I&I/TIPP Poll, taken from July 6-9, we asked 1,643 adults across America to consider the following statement: “President Biden has said that record-high gasoline and electricity prices are necessary for meeting his goal of eliminating fossil fuels in the U.S. to fight climate change.”
Respondents were then asked to respond to a question with five choices: “Would you say you:
1.) Agree with Biden’s climate change policy, even if it means higher energy prices.
2.) Disagree with Biden’s policy, and want more energy produced to decrease prices.
3.) Don’t think global climate change should be a U.S. policy priority.
4.) I don’t believe in climate change.
5.) Not sure.
The answer that came back loud and clear will not be comforting to either Biden or his Democratic Party advisers: Just 32% of those answering the poll, which has a margin of error of +/-2.5 percentage points, said they support Biden’s climate change policy even if it means higher energy prices.
But a far larger majority of 57% answered in the negative. They either said they disagreed with his policies and want more and cheaper energy (41%), or don’t think climate change should be a U.S. policy priority (10%), or don’t even believe that the climate is changing (6%).
This is a significant repudiation of the Biden administration’s “Green Agenda,” which is now being blamed by many for the recent surge in energy prices and inflation, not to mention a growing sense of insecurity in global food and oil markets.
The split would be even wider if not for one group: Democrats. Just 30% say they disagree with Biden’s climate change policies, while 58% say they agree.
But even among Democrats, 24% say they want more energy and cheaper prices, while 5% don’t think climate change should be a policy focus and 2% aren’t really sure the climate is changing. And 11% of Democrats said they aren’t sure (numbers may not add perfectly to 100% due to rounding.)
That leaves substantial majorities of both Republicans (86%) and independents (66%) who reject Biden’s green policies and higher energy prices, who agree climate shouldn’t be a policy priority, or who don’t believe climate change is real.
In short, Biden’s costly Plan for Climate Change and Environmental Justice is popular with few outside of the Democratic Party.
Yet Biden has refused to alter course on his policies that make it harder, more costly and in many cases impossible to drill for more oil, forcing Americans to pay record-high prices to fill their gas tanks while they continue to foot the bill for windmills and solar panels that can never supply all of America’s energy needs.
Does this mean trouble ahead in the upcoming midterm elections? Many voters today link the surge in energy prices to both the left’s Green Agenda and to the sudden upsurge in annual inflation, which has risen every month of Biden’s presidency, at least as of June 2022. Democrats are suffering in the polls as a result.
The growing disquiet over the cost of going green could also damage Biden’s hopes in 2024, which increasingly seem imperiled by his own party’s misgivings over a run for a second term. As a matter of postwar history, the record is clear that presidents who undergo significant bouts of inflation during their time in office experience serious political trouble.
“It’s been a while, but we remember how inflation ravages the economy, sours the national mood, and poisons the electoral prospects of a president and his party,” an NPR piece noted. And that was written in late 2021. The picture has only gotten worse since then.
The poll’s responses also underscore alarming reports from around the world about how global climate change policies have harmed economies, disrupted world food supplies, and led to increasingly violent antigovernment riots and farmer revolts in countries as diverse as Germany, The Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Ghana and South Africa.
A recent United Nations report warned that 2.3 billion people globally suffered modest or severe hunger in 2021, an increase from the year before, and that this alarming fact “should dispel any lingering doubts that the world is moving backwards in its efforts to end hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition in all its forms.”
What’s to blame? Another U.N. report may help explain. In this poll, 10 million people worldwide were asked to rank 16 issues in order of importance. “Climate change” finished dead last.
For this, many blame green energy policies such as the ones pushed by the Biden administration but other nations too that have pushed up prices by reducing energy supplies to the global marketplace. And it includes so-called “green” or “organic” farming practices imposed on farmers by wealthy nations, global food and development agencies, NGOs, and so-called “Environment, Social and Governance” (ESG) investment funds in the U.S. and Europe.
The image of policy failure won’t be helped by Biden’s recent trip to the Mideast to beg the Saudi government to pump more oil to ease energy prices, only to return empty-handed.
It was further hurt by Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, who, in a recent interview, talked animatedly about high gasoline prices and suggested that a solution would be “cutting the cost of electric vehicles, because when you have an electric vehicle then you’re also gonna be able to save on gas.”
But as both Tesla maker Elon Musk and Toyota’s top scientist have recently noted, there’s not enough electrical output in the world to fuel a massive increase in electric car usage. Musk is on record as saying that an all-electric vehicle fleet would require a doubling of the world’s electrical output, a feat entirely out of reach under current policies.
The I&I/TIPP Poll results plainly show that Americans by and large repudiate Biden’s climate-change policies and want a return to plentiful energy, low prices and an end to wrenching changes imposed by remote bureaucrats to bring about a global green “Great Reset.”
I&I/TIPP publishes polling data each month on this topic and others of public interest. TIPP’s reputation for excellence comes from being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.
Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor, and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.