A Joe Biden presidency could undo the fracking executive order, which could come at astronomical costs to the U.S.
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The abolishment of hydraulic fracturing technology could lead to the loss of 19 million jobs, according to U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.
“This technology, hydraulic fracturing, has produced the largest economic boom that we have known in our lifetimes,” Brouillette told Stuart Varney on FOX Business’ "Varney & Co." “We are now a net energy exporter in the United States. The one thing that can’t be undone is the economic progress that’s occurred since this president took office in 2017. It has been enormous. Absolutely enormous.”
Fracking, or the process of extracting natural gas by injecting water into shale rock at high pressure, has supported 10.3 million jobs in the oil and gas industry, or 5.6% of the labor force. President Trump has frequently claimed that Biden would kill those jobs.
Energy prices in the outlook of a Biden future would also hurt consumers, Brouillette pointed out. Prices on electricity and natural gas would skyrocket. Fracking also produces crude oil, and its elimination could potentially increase the price of gasoline throughout the country.
Biden has taken a particularly aggressive stance against fossil fuels, as he proposes to phase out the oil industry. Opponents in line with Biden’s energy agenda say fracking contributes to global warming as a result of greenhouse gas emissions. While many have criticized the former vice president for his inconsistent claims on whether or not he will ban the practice, he has submitted that he will halt federal subsidies for it and aim to transition to renewable energy.
Proponents of fracking contend that the switch to fracked natural gas has allowed the U.S. to cut its carbon emissions more than any other industrial country.
Over the past 12 to 15 years, as the economy has grown on an average of 17 percent, the U.S. has reduced carbon emissions from energy sources by 14 percent during that same period.
“There’s not a single country in the world that could credibly make that claim,” Brouillette said. “And there’s certainly no signatory to the Paris Accords could make that claim.”
Trump’s staunch policy directions toward energy independence have stressed the importance of fracking, which has made the U.S. the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world.
Trump’s administration has also led to a surge in liquified natural gas exports due to technologies like hydraulic fracturing. Whereas liquified natural gas exports neared zero in 2008, that number has grown to nearly 80 billion cubic meters.
The election has drawn attention to key battleground states, like Pennslyvania, Ohio and Texas, where fracking makes up a large part of the economy.