The oil and gas industry is doubling down on countering Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's promise to neuter fracking, which could upend America as an energy leader and eliminate thousands of jobs.
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Biden said on Saturday that he supports a fracking ban on federal lands and waters, which account for 13% of the nation’s natural gas production. The comments came as he attempted to clarify remarks made at last week’s debate that supported transitioning the U.S. away from oil.
On Monday, President Trump in a tweet, reminded voters that his plans would hurt jobs.
“Banning federal leasing and development on federal lands and waters would derail decades of U.S. energy progress and return us to the days of relying on foreign energy sources hostile to American interests,” said American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Mike Sommers.
“This is ultimately a choice between American-made energy and foreign energy, a choice between American jobs and foreign jobs,” he added. “It’s clear a federal leasing ban should be off the table – there’s far too much at stake for American workers, local economies and our nation’s energy security.”
The Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission declined to comment. The Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission and New Mexico's Oil Conservation Division did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.
A fracking ban on federal lands and waters would deliver a $700 billion hit to U.S. gross domestic product through 2030 and erase more than $9 billion in revenue, a portion of which is used to fund education and conservation programs, according to a study released last month by API. Such a ban would also result in 1 million job losses by 2022 with the states of Texas, Wyoming and New Mexico absorbing the biggest blows.
Fracking is the process of injecting water into shale rock at high pressure to extract natural gas. Proponents say the process has been instrumental in America securing its energy security and has resulted in a sharp drop in carbon dioxide emissions over the past decade.
Critics, however, argue that fracking pollutes the environment and contributes to greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.
“I will not ban fracking, I said no fracking on federal land,” Biden told NBC affiliate WBRE in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. He made similar comments to two other local networks.
Biden’s view on fracking has shifted numerous times during the course of his presidential campaign. He has called for outlawing all fracking, banning drilling on federal lands and waters, suspending new permits on federal lands and waters and has voiced his full support for the industry.
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On Friday, the CEOs of ExxonMobil and Chevron will likely be asked to address Biden's plans for the industry during the companies earnings calls.