WASHINGTON, DC – “Any proposal to avert the climate crisis must include a full fracking ban on public and private lands,” said Bernie Sanders ahead of a CNN town hall on climate change with Democrats running for President in 2020.
That argument was promoted again today on the House floor, when Democrats blocked a resolution to strengthen America’s energy boom created in part by hydraulic fracturing and natural gas.
When it comes to climate change, Democrats too often let rhetoric replace reality. While rhetoric like this may make for good sound bites for Democrats on the campaign trail, the reality makes for bad policy for the American economy and worker.
It’s time for a reality check. Fracking has created jobs, advanced our energy security, and helped make America a global leader in emissions reductions. Banning fracking would kill jobs, upend our progress to reduce emissions, and expand Russia’s energy influence on the world stage.
Here are five reasons why Democrats are wrong on fracking:
1 – Fracking is good for U.S. economy and jobs: Fracking directly employs over 2 million Americans who earn over $175 billion in labor income. (Department of Energy)
2 – United States is a leading natural gas and crude oil exporter: According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the United States doubled its natural gas exports for the second year in a row and it exports crude oil to more destinations than it imports from. The Committee-led Energy Policy Act of 2005 unleashed the potential of fracking.
3 – Fracking has helped America lead on emissions reductions: As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) notes, natural gas has reduced our reliance on coal, which is “an important reason for a reduction of GHG emissions in the United States.” (p. 527).
4 – America leads the world in modern fracking technology: Modern fracking technology has allowed the United States to tap into an abundance of natural gas. According to the Department of Energy, shale gas production is expected to grow to 16.6 trillion cubic feet per year by 2035.
5 – Radical efforts to kill fracking will kill jobs and economic opportunity: A new report by the Global Energy Institute found that efforts – often praised by Democrats – to “keep it in the ground” have prevented at least $91.9 billion in domestic economic activity and prevented nearly 730,000 new jobs.
Bottom line: Banning fracking will not lead to greater American energy independence and a cleaner economy. We can be good stewards of our environment and our economy by focusing on bipartisan solutions that can become law to boost innovation, improve preparation, and promote conservation.
Democrats need a reality ✅