by Jon Sanders
Research Editor and Senior Fellow, Regulatory Studies, John Locke Foundation
Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and now Elizabeth Warren have all pledged to ban fracking. Warren said she’d do it her first day as president, which doesn’t even make 1/1,024th lick of sense. It seems one of the byproducts of the presidency of Donald Trump is that regardless of how outlandish or regrettable some of his statements are, his opponents somehow manage to outdo them in short order.
It’s as if they’re all playing a game of Presidential Timber Jenga, and one by one their sorry behavior and poor choices pluck out reasons for well-thinking Americans to support them. Soon all you have left are rickety piles and the mean fate that it’s your civic duty to pick one to preside over the entire nation. Afterwards, your fellow citizens who chose otherwise help set up the next game by pretending that the shambles getting your vote somehow fit your presidential ideal.
But enough of that. There’s a bigger issue, which is that a ban on fracking would be asinine. It would be self-destructive, devastating to the economy, a gut punch to the poor, and practically ineffective to do anything about climate change. Would that vote-chasers could find ways to Signal Great Virtue without fomenting dangerous fictions.
Forbes has a good article on why a ban on fracking would never work. Readers of this blog can follow the tag “fracking” to see what great good has been wrought in the U.S. and in North Carolina by this world-changing technological revolution, the combination of hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling.
I pointed out in “The Fracks of Life” that it solved three big issues facing our society at the opening of the 21st century:
Thanks to fracking, we’ve realized all three — yes, even the third. As I pointed out for “Earth Day” this year, the U.S. leads the world in cutting emissions. And the biggest reason for that is fracking, which has brought us “cheap, plentiful, clean-burning natural gas that is price-competitive to coal.”
The numbers for North Carolina this century are just as welcome and robust. See my update last week on how “Competitive Forces, Not Government, Are Behind NC’s Dramatic Fall in Emissions.”
Also, the Democrats aren’t the only ones who seek to end fracking in the U.S. There’s a very key world figure who has been working very hard to bring it about.
All this decade, leaders around the world — including Hillary Clinton when she was Secretary of State — warned about Putin’s funding of environmental groups to oppose fracking in the U.S. Perhaps true believers think they’d be saving the planet. All they’d practically accomplish is to chain the planet to Russian oil and gas:
There are too many reasons to list to hope that this unfathomably bad idea dies soon.