“By the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place,” Hillary Clinton, March 6, 2016
Hillary’s strong anti-fracking statement is, at the very least, politically unsavvy: battleground states Ohio and Pennsylvania are our key incremental natural gas producers, and fracking is their primary means to extract more gas.
Ohio has the Utica shale gas play and Pennsylvania has the Marcellus gas shale play, and fracking is instrumental to energy and economic development in both states – crucial investments worth many tens of billions of dollars (here, here).
Hillary should know that Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida (the last being increasingly a gas-based state that wants more fracked gas from the first two, here) remain the battleground states to focus on most because “since 1960 no candidate has won the presidential race without taking at least two of these three states.”
What’s even more strange for Hillary is that her former boss, President Obama, has been a supporter of fracking for natural gas (here, here, here)…not to mention California Governor Jerry Brown’s, a leading progressive on climate change policy, support of fracking (here).
In fact, anti-fracking positions are a threat to the energysecurity of our entire nation, and will just make other states unfairly over reliant on Ohio and Pennsylvania gas (just ask New York how anti-fracking positions simply mean greater reliance on Pennsylvania’s fracked natural gas) – gas is just that much more reliable.
Fracking is “the most important, and the biggest, energy innovation of this century,” says legendary energy thinker Dr. Daniel Yergin.
Fracking is why Ohio and Pennsylvania now hold 20% of proven U.S. natural gas reserves, after holding just 2% in 2009.
Fracking is why Pennsylvania is now producing more gas than Canada, and fracking is why North Dakota has been producing as much oil as Argentina and Ecuador combined.
Fracking is why the U.S. is now the world’s largest natural gas producer, with output up 30% since 2010 alone, while methane emissions from production are down 40% since 2005.
Fracking is why U.S. crude oil production has reached levels not seen since the early-1970s, when output was thought to have peaked (here).
Fracking is why U.S. natural gas production is expected to increase by over 30% by 2040.
Fracking is why shale gas now accounts for over 50% of U.S. gas production, up from basically nothing a decade ago.
Fracking is why the U.S. Energy Information Administration projects that U.S. shale gas could yield 35 Tcf of gas in 2040, or 66% more than what the country produced from all gas sources in 2010.
Fracking is why U.S. proven crude oil reserves jumped a staggering 80% from 2010-2014, and fracking is why U.S. proven gas reserves now stand at 400 Tcf, nearly double what they were in 2005.
Fracking has created hundreds of thousands of jobs across a variety of sectors, made landowners rich, lowered electricity rates, and allowed tens of billions of dollars to be collected in taxes, fees to build more schools, hospitals, and other vital infrastructure.
Fracking is why U.S. oil and gas imports have plummeted 36% and 40%, respectively, since 2005 – slashing our energy import bill, which topped $400 billion for oil alone in 2008, and reducing the U.S. trade deficit.
Fracking is why U.S. oil imports from OPEC (a politically risky “cartel” filled with “not free” nations that control 60% of the crude oil export market) are down 50% since 2008.
Fracking is why U.S. self-sufficiency for energy is now around 90% of usage, way up from just 70% in 2008, a particularly important upgrade in a world where all-important India and China require lots more oil and gas imports – and are willing to pay more.
Fracking is why the U.S. has “vastly improved” its energy security risk relative to its peers, thanks to the fracking-enabled “huge increase in unconventional oil and natural gas production from shale formations” (here).
Fracking is why U.S. oil exports have more than doubled to 4.2 million b/d since 2009, and fracking is why nearly 20 high job-creating, multi-billion dollar natural gas export projects via LNG have been proposed on the U.S. Gulf Coast (here) – exporting fracked oil and gas is one of the few bipartisan agreements that we have.
Fracking, and the growing ability/potential of the U.S. to export oil and gas, is why European and Asian nations have been able to re-negotiate with OPEC and Russia’s Vladimir Putin to get better import terms for such indispensable energy.
Bluntly stated, without fracked natural gas, wind and solar will still have no real chance to significantly penetrate the U.S. electricity mix because on average they will remain unavailable 62-80% of the time even in 2020, per U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates (here).
Fracking is what has reversed “the old world oil order,” where the U.S. “didn’t count” because we were a “price taker whose inexorable net importer status” weakened us “as a player on the oil geopolitical stage” (here).
Fracking is why the global oil market was able to sustain the sanctions against Iran: fracked oil and gas gives the U.S. much more political leverage.
Fracking is why U.S. CO2 emissions in the power sector are the lowest they’ve been in nearly 30 years (here, here), as cleaner natural gas now constitutes about 33% of U.S. electricity, more than double its market share in 2000.
Fracking is why there’s now $120 billion in petrochemical plant investments along the U.S. Gulf Coast.
Fracking is what will allow natural gas-fired plants to account for 60% of total power capacity additions from 2013-2040, with gas the primary source to gain market share under the Clean Power Plan to reduce CO2 (here).
Fracking is why the cost of natural gas in the U.S. is two to five times lower than it is in other OECD countries.
Fracking is why President Obama was clearly wrong four years ago when he said “we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices,” (sorry Mr. President, but we did, see here, here).
Fracking is why oil and gas prices have plummeted, allowing American families to save thousands on energy costs (here).
Fracking is why Hillary might want to quickly re-think her position against…fracking.