President Trump is weighing a potential executive order to ask government agencies to perform an economic analysis of fracking as he hopes to gain traction with voters in Pennsylvania, a state that will prove crucial in the lead up to Election Day.
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The order would gather information from the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the Treasury Department about how fracking affects the economy and trade and highlight the consequences of eliminating the technique, which employs drilling to extract gas and oil, according to senior administration officials, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.
In addition, Trump would ask officials from the Energy Department and Interior Department to advise on how technology or land management could be used to expand the use of fracking.
Officials told the WSJ that details of the order are still being considered and a final decision on whether to even issue it hasn’t been made.
Trump has repeatedly claimed Biden, a native of Pennsylvania and longtime Delaware senator, will ban fracking if he becomes president, and although Biden has flip-flopped on the issue, he has ultimately said that banning the practice is not part of his agenda.
Biden instead has said he would tighten restrictions on oil and gas development and prevent drilling on federal land, which makes up only a small portion of the nearly 1 million wells in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Land Management. Wells on private property accounts for approximately 90% of all of the country's wells, and Biden cannot unilaterally regulate them.
A possible executive order less than seven days before Election Day could signal to Pennsylvania voters -- where the fracking industry accounts for between 20,000 and 50,000 jobs -- that Trump is in favor of protecting the state's energy industry.
Trump has claimed that millions of jobs would be lost and energy prices would spike if fracking were banned by Biden.
Trump snatched a narrow victory in 2016 in the state when he won his White House battle with Hillary Clinton, but Biden's lead on Trump has ramped up in recent days as both candidates have visited the states to make a last-ditch appeal to voters.