…The dual arguments
As the United States election is just two days away, President Donald Trump insists he will continue to support hydraulic fracturing – fracking – for national security and job protection purposes.
The issue of the environment has become a major sticking point for both incumbent Trump and challenger former Vice-President Joe Biden.
Biden has vowed to pursue a green economic policy that would see the world’s largest economy transit away from fossil fuel to renewable energy such as solar, wind and power.
Many environmentalists and their democratic party supporters have consistently attacked hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) and other innovative energy and natural-resources technologies as being harmful to the environment
But a statement from the White House says due to public calls for bans or restrictions on such technologies, the administration will assess the potential effects of such bans or restrictions on American citizens.
“The Administration will assess the potential consequences of fracking bans – such as job losses – on Americans who are directly or indirectly benefiting from the energy industry and other industries, including mining for sand and other minerals. No responsible public official should sacrifice vast numbers of American jobs and livelihoods to appease domestic radicals and curry favor with foreign powers.”White House
Vice-President Biden says his green roadmap will ensure: “smart infrastructure investments to rebuild the nation and to ensure that our buildings, water, transportation, and energy infrastructure can withstand the impacts of climate change.”
But Trump administration reels out a different outlook.
It states that in 2019, the Council of Economic Advisers estimated that fracking and other innovations had reduced energy prices and saved Americans $203 billion per year, or $2,500 each year for a family of four.
It argues that ending fracking now would increase the prices of gasoline, electricity, heating, and air conditioning.
The argument is that these increases would greatly harm senior citizens, middle- and lower-income Americans, and others on fixed-incomes.
‘Reliable, affordable energy is essential to our Nation’s well-being, our economic strength and global competitiveness, and our national security. The President is opposed to misguided policies that would take us back to the days of vulnerable dependence on foreign oil and natural gas. As a result of the President’s continued push for energy independence and new technologies, our country recently became a net energy exporter for the first time since 1952, with American energy exports reaching an all-time high last year.”White House
The United States is now the world’s leading producer of both oil and natural gas – Crude oil production set record highs both last year and the year before, leaping past the previous record set in 1970.
American liquefied natural gas (LNG) has risen by nearly five-fold and has issued more than 20 long-term authorizations for LNG exports.
LNG exports are reducing the trade deficit by $10 billion each year and are on pace to reduce the trade deficit by $30 billion per year by 2030.
All these scenarios may change for better or worse – depending on what the voters say on Tuesday November 3.