Presidential Memo Orders Department of Energy to Assess Consequences of Undermining American Fracking

Last week, the White House issued a memo ordering the Department of Energy and Secretary Dan Brouillette to study and report the findings on “Assessing the Domestic and Economic Impacts of Undermining Hydraulic Fracturing and Other Technologies” within 70 days.

Proposals to ban, limit, or increase regulatations of hydraulic fracturing (known more commonly as ‘fracking’) have gained considerable steam and have become a defining question for the Biden campaign this election season, making it all the more important as Americans head to the polls today.

The shale revolution, pioneered by advanced fracking technologies, has revolutionized American energy by making natural gas more accessible – affordably and safely. Prolific natural gas production has weaned the country off foreign energy sources, lowered energy bills, and helped drastically cut carbon emissions. Despite these successes, fracking remains the chief target of many elected officials and office hopefuls looking to gain the support of the environmental Left.

GAIN is looking forward to the Department of Energy’s forthcoming findings on the importance of fracking. In the meantime, it is worth highlighting the American Petroleum Institute’s similar study on banning fracking and federal leasing operations.

Notable findings include:

  • Cumulative GDP loss of $7.1 trillion by 2030 after imposition of fracking and federal leasing ban.
  • 7.5 million jobs lost in 2022 (4.8% of total jobs), averaging at 3.8 million jobs lost through 2030.
  • Annual household incomes declines of, on average, $5,040 per year (4.3%).
  • U.S. shifts from net natural gas exporter to importing nearly 30% of its natural gas by 2030.

These are powerful findings, and we expect the Department of Energy to confirm them in their own study.

No matter the outcome of the Presidential election, DOE’s study should be an informative document on the path forward for American energy. Moreover, politicians must not abandon the ‘all of the above’ energy cultivation strategy that has rewarded Americans and our allies. On the other hand, banning fracking or diminishing its prevalence by prohibiting operations on federal land will needlessly undercut our energy security, raise energy costs, and walk back significant environmental gains the industry has afforded in recent years.

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