Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders of Vermont thinks banning the fracking of oil wells is a good thing. He filed a Senate bill that would do just that.
Fracking is a method of extracting oil and natural gas from shale formations that involve injecting fluids to force the fossil fuel product to the surface. Fracking has transformed America’s energy economy so that the United States is now a major oil and gas exporter.
The American Petroleum Institute is against such legislation, and so am I. America’s energy policy would regress, the U.S. would lose jobs, household energy costs would spike and it would be detrimental to farmers and manufacturers.
Proponents of the Green New Deal want to ban not only fracking but all oil and gas drilling. A study conducted by the Global Energy Institute suggested that a fracking ban would eliminate 14.8 million American jobs.
Other analysts have noted that Sanders’ fracking ban would harm the environment in the short run because natural gas is a relatively clean-burning fossil fuel. Cheap natural gas brought on by fracking has displaced dirtier ways — like coal — of creating energy.
Bernie’s plan also ignores an emerging technology called carbon capture. Forbes notes an experimental power plant in La Porte, Texas, that does not emit any carbon dioxide. Operated by NET Energy, the plant uses the CO2 to turn the turbines and then sequesters it for sale to industrial users.