Washington Post opinion writer Charles Lane poses 14 questions for Democratic presidential frontrunner and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders – two of which are particularly relevant to the future of American energy:
4. You seek to end all oil and gas fracking by 2025, abolishing an industry that directly or indirectly employs tens of thousands of people at often good-paying blue-collar jobs in states such as Colorado, Ohio, New Mexico, North Dakota and Texas. There are 80,000 fracking-related jobs just in Pennsylvania, which President Trump carried by 44,292 votes in 2016.
If these working-class Americans asked for a detailed plan that ensures they and their families will not be worse off under a Sanders administration, what would you tell them?
5. You support ending U.S. oil exports, to fight climate change. If the United States, eighth on the list of the world’s top 15 exporters in 2018, stopped selling crude, would global consumption of fossil fuels decline by the same amount?
Or would customers seek alternative sources of supply, creating a windfall for the other 14 countries, including Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela?
These are good questions, and Senator Sanders should answer them before a majority of voters go to the ballot box in primary states across the country.
As we have noted previously, political candidates should offer real, tangible and practical solutions to energy issues. They should not pander to narrow constituencies in exchange for threatening our energy independence, national security, and countless jobs at home.