Where The Presidential Candidates Stand on Fracking

With Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren dropping out of the presidential race, Democrats are left with two primary candidates – Senator Bernie Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden – in the running to face President Trump in the November election.

The new electoral dynamics offer a useful time to look at where the two contenders stand on energy issues – specifically, their views on fracking, which has helped the United States achieve energy independence while keeping energy prices low.

Sanders’ position is straightforward. In January, he introduced the Ban Fracking Act, which would issue an immediate ban on all federal permits for fracking-related infrastructure and ban fracking nationwide by 2025.

Biden’s position is a bit harder to pin down. In September, he said he doesn’t support a nationwide ban on fracking, but in January he told a voter on video that he supports “stopping fracking” and “stopping pipeline infrastructure.”

Additionally, said in December that “you gotta transition away from” fracking and “I’d love to make sure we can’t use any oil and gas, period.”

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.

The oil and gas industry supports millions of high-paying jobs. Specifically, the Global Energy Institute notes that the economic impact on the United States would be devastating:

  • In Pennsylvania, 609,000 workers would lose their jobs.
  • In Ohio, 700,000 workers would lose their jobs.
  • In Texas, more than 3 million workers would need to find new jobs.
  • In New Mexico, 142,000 jobs would be lost.
  • In Colorado, 500,000 workers would be displaced.
  • Michigan and Wisconsin combined would lose 800,000 jobs.
  • $7.1 trillion reduction to the U.S. gross domestic product.
  • $1.9 trillion in lost tax revenue.
  • Skyrocketing energy and gasoline costs.

As GAIN has long-advocated, an “all-of-the-above” energy portfolio consisting of wind, solar, natural gas, and oil are key to ensuring our nation’s energy security and bolstering the economy. It is critical the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates listen to fellow Democrats in states like Pennsylvania and focus on pragmatic, realistic solutions regarding energy development.