So how have Democrats and Republicans answered the bell? For Republicans, Friday's Monitor/TIPP poll shows strong approval for drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge (53 percent), off America's coasts (62 percent), and in oil shale deposits in the American West (63 percent). The poll's margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.
As such findings are largely consistent with prior polling, congressional Republicans have repeatedly offered legislation to expand the scope of drilling. One pending bill would prevent the president from dipping into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, an oil stockpile to be used in emergency circumstances, unless he increases domestic energy production. And provisions in the House budget proposal approved last week would increase the scope of drilling on federal lands.
House Speaker John Boehner's favored mechanism to fund the nation's transportation investments would, in addition, use increased revenue from energy production to offset higher infrastructure spending.
Obama, for his part, called for an "all of the above" energy strategy in his State of the Union address, giving many Republicans hope for headway on drilling issues. Since then, he has emphasized that there are "no silver bullets" on rising energy prices.