Drill, baby, drill
"Drill, baby, drill!" was a 2008 Republican campaign slogan first used at the 2008 Republican National Convention by former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, who was later elected Chairman of the Republican National Committee. The slogan expressed support for increased drilling for petroleum and gas as sources of additional energy and gained further prominence after it was used by Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin during the vice-presidential debate.
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Michael Steele used the phrase "Drill, baby, drill" during an address to the 2008 Republican National Convention as he called for increasing domestic production of oil and gas, and the phrase proved to be popular among the delegates. Prior to the Republican National Convention, Erik Rush, a conservative blogger and author of The Other Rush blog, had titled his August 28, 2008 sheet "Drill, baby, drill!" Environmental think tank Post Carbon Institute released a contrarian report in 2013 titled "Drill, Baby, Drill: Can Unconventional Fuels Usher in a New Era of Energy Abundance?"
One possible source of the expression "Drill, baby, drill" was a similar three-word expression used by Bill Epton, an African American radical, whose three word statement "Burn, baby, burn" in 1964 led to him being "the first person convicted of criminal anarchy since the Red Scare of 1919". Another possible explanation of the origin is that Erik Rush or some predecessor modeled the phrase after the title of the 1966 Mario Bava film Operazione paura which was released in the USA under the colorful title Kill, Baby, Kill and also known as Kill, Baby... Kill! The 1973 Ray Austin film House of the Living Dead also used this same title Kill, Baby, Kill when released in USA video format, although this latter film achieved little of the popularity of the earlier Bava film. Another possibility is that it is a play on the "Burn Baby Burn" lyrics of the song "Disco Inferno."
Vice Presidential debate
On October 2, 2008, at the vice-presidential debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden, "drill, baby, drill" reached a new prominence. Joe Biden, referring to the energy crisis and McCain's 20 votes against funding solar and wind energy, stated that McCain thinks "the only answer is drill, drill, drill. Drill we must, but it will take 10 years for one drop of oil to come out of any of the wells that are going to be drilled." Palin responded by saying, "The chant is 'drill, baby, drill.' And that's what we hear all across this country in our rallies because people are so hungry for those domestic sources of energy to be tapped into."
Aftermath of the BP oil spill
Republicans continued to use the slogan after the 2008 election. In 2010, however, the slogan received renewed attention because of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a major oil spill at a BP offshore drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill caused extensive environmental damages and economic losses estimated in the billions of dollars. As a result, some proponents of "Drill, baby, drill" became embarrassed about their previous support. The slogan was parodied as "Spill, baby, spill", and "Kill, baby, Kill". Two senior Republican Senators, Jon Kyl and Pat Roberts, made comments attempting to distance themselves and the Republican Party from the slogan.
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