Many of the 24 Democrats running for their party’s 2020 Presidential nomination have made it clear—they don’t like the oil and gas industry and at least 10 want to ban fracking.
Fifteen of them want to ban all oil and gas production on public lands.
In short, what they support when it comes to environmental issues would be harmful to oil and gas in Oklahoma and virtually every other state where fossil fuels are produced. Harmful is an understatement. Devastation might be more like it.
The findings were the result of a survey by the Washington Post which questioned every candidate on a range of energy and environmental policies. Former Vice President Joe Biden, the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination did not respond to the survey.
Ten Democratic candidates told the Post they favored banning hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — the drilling technique behind the U.S. energy boom that has helped support 10.3 million jobs, according to industry figures.
“I favor a ban on new fracking and a rapid end to existing fracking so that we can build a 100 percent clean energy society as soon as possible,” South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg told the Post.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who is a native Oklahoman has come out in support of banning all hydraulic fracturing. So have Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Cory Booker of New Jersey. Joining them in such a ban are Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Many 2020 Democrats have embraced the Green New Deal, which calls for achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within 10 years. Inslee’s climate change agenda comes close to the Green New Deal, but he explicitly promised to create 8 million jobs.
“This year I signed legislation to ban fracking in Washington state, and as president, I would work to end fracking across the country,” Inslee told the Post.
Fracking, however, has been a powerful economic engine for much of the country, especially rural areas where not many other employment opportunities exist. U.S. oil and gas output hit record levels because of fracking, as have petroleum exports.
The oil and gas industry directly supports roughly 2.7 million jobs, according to the American Petroleum Institute (API). API estimates the industry also supports millions more indirect jobs in manufacturing, agriculture, mining, construction and other fields. Many of these jobs are a result of the fracking boom.
That’s a tough sell to the roughly 10.3 million workers whose jobs are in some way supported by oil and gas extraction, according to API estimates. Labor unions have already come out against the Green New Deal despite its promise for a “just transition” for fossil fuel workers to new industries.
Nine 2020 Democrats told the Post they would not ban fracking, but would support more regulations. Environmentalists oppose fracking because of its potential impacts on groundwater quality, though there’s little evidence that’s a big problem.
Six 2020 Democrats supported a ban on fossil fuel exports, though five candidates came out against such a ban, the Post reported.
The U.S. is expected to become a net energy exporter in 2020 because of surging oil and gas production, according to federal forecasters.
Fifteen Democrats, however, favor banning fossil fuel extraction on federal lands. Only one candidate, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, ruled out banning drilling and mining on lands controlled by the federal government.
This content was originally published here.