A number of Democratic candidates have endorsed a fracking ban, recently including Elizabeth Warren, and as Bob McNally said, this would “vaporize the oil and gas boom in the United States.” In this piece, I will try to quantify the impact of a fracking ban on the U.S. natural gas supply, and the concomitant economic effects.
Of course, there is some skepticism that she would actually do that if elected, and suspicion that the suggestion is nothing more than an attempt to appeal to the more liberal Democratic primary voters. Given that Democrats from Barack Obama to Jerry Brown have not opposed (regulated) fracking, and the pertinent fact that politicians often make promises they don’t intend to keep, (shocking I know), I would lean towards that myself.
My belief is strengthened by the nature of the arguments in favor of a fracking ban. Yes, it’s done by big oil (I mean BIG OIL), except many of the companies are much smaller. Yes, it’s a novel method, except it’s been done for about a century in various forms. And yes, there is evidence of pollutants like benzene near fracking sites, but mainly because there’s benzene nearly everywhere. One would like to think that the public would recognize that argument resembles fears of radiation from nuclear power plants—which are trivial when compared to natural radiation levels.Click here to read the rest of the article.