Rick Whitbeck: Energy was front and center at CPAC



Last week, I traveled to Washington D.C. to attend the annual CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) event. Founded in 1974, this gathering of thousands of like-minded people celebrated its 50th anniversary with lots of red, white and blue, a solid group of speakers, hundreds of media members and seemingly as many social media influencers. 

My main role at CPAC was to help launch a four-part set of videos from my organization, Power The Future. Each one highlighted the importance of energy in the 2024 political campaigns. In addition, I hosted the Power The Future booth in the massive exhibit hall at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.  In-between meeting with conference-goers and listening to speakers, I visited “Radio Row” multiple times daily, where media personalities jockeyed for guests throughout the event.  

The mood at CPAC was one of unwavering patriotism, with attendees coming from every corner of America and around the globe.  I talked with people from Hungary, Australia, the UK, Egypt, Argentina, El Salvador, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico.  Each of them there to help further conservative principles of limited government and individual responsibility, while pushing back on a globalist agenda designed to limit freedoms.  In fact, that was CPAC 2024’s theme, “Where Globalism Goes to Die.”

The other underlying theme was energy, which was fantastic to see as an everyday advocate for America’s energy potential. From the opening speaker of the event, Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida, declaring “America’s best energy days are ahead of us”, to President Trump’s declaration that “Biden’s energy assault will end on January 20th, 2025”, speaker after speaker noted the need to reverse the weakening of American energy on the international stage that we’ve seen under this administration.

Energy underpins every facet of daily life, from agriculture to transportation, from our utilities and the gas we put in our vehicles to the costs we incur at shops around Alaska to the price we pay for service providers around the world. As America has seen Joe Biden weaken our domestic energy status and output, we’ve seen massive inflation and our dollar shrinking like we haven’t witnessed in decades.

Now that I’m home, I’ll bring the energy and patriotism found at CPAC back to Alaska, fighting like never before for Alaskans to have our best resource development days ahead of us. From the North Slope to Prince of Wales Island, projects and opportunities to advance a domestic energy supply chain lie under our feet and beneath the Earth’s crust. 

It is our job to fight together to demand an opportunity to safely and responsibly extract those riches. Together, we can build a better Alaska, fight back against the narrative that traditional energy is evil, or that somehow we should live without oil, gas, coal and sacrifice the tens of thousands of jobs in our state dependent on their development.

Our future will be determined by being active and vocal, pushing back against the agenda of well-funded, wrong-on-so-many-levels activists and ideologues who want to lay waste to America. Don’t let them win.

Energy is definitely on the ballot in 2024. You can watch our videos here, and join us in the fight for Alaska, America and families across the nation.

Rick Whitbeck is the Alaska State Director for Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs and fights back against economy-killing and family-destroying environmental extremism. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @PTFAlaska.


  1. Rick, are you even going to note that energy (oil and gas, as well as renewables) are at all time highs the last couple of years? Enough oil to cover domestic needs and still be a net exporter? The world’s largest LNG exporter? (With another dozen LNG export terminals approved and slated to come on line over the next couple of years?)

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