Fact Checking 2020 Candidates on Fracking Ban

January 15, 2020

Western Energy Alliance responds to Democratic candidates at CNN debate in Iowa

DENVER -- In response to anti-oil and natural gas statements by the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates during CNN’s debate last night in Des Moines, Iowa, Western Energy Alliance’s President Kathleen Sgamma issued the following comment, which includes a warning of legal action if a ban on federal development is attempted:

“At last night’s debate, Senator Warren once again claimed broad powers that an imperial president might have, but not an American one. She can’t roll back regulations that the Trump Administration has put in place through proper rulemaking on day one. She can’t stop all drilling on federal lands and waters on day one. There are laws passed by Congress that say otherwise. Western Energy Alliance would be in court within hours of her issuing an unlawful order to stop development on federal lands.

“Senator Sanders’ ill-informed statements about fossil fuel industry lies have not only been shot down in court, but are a disingenuous attempt to scapegoat. Americans and citizens of other developed countries lead healthy and safe lives because of all the benefits oil and natural gas provide. People rely on fossil fuels to heat their homes, turn the lights on, travel to work and around the globe, power their electronics, produce their food, and create just about every product they use in their daily lives. Greater use of natural gas electricity is the number one reason the United States has reduced more greenhouse gas emissions than any other country.

“On the other hand, Senator Klobuchar understands that it is completely unrealistic for a president to deny Americans access to reliable energy sources that meet the vast majority of their energy needs. Her resistance to the demands of the radical left to oppose fracking recognizes that it may be politically expedient to promise a ban during the primary, but that the American people would not accept losing their cars, electricity, and smart phones.

“Incidentally, the premise of Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel was factually inaccurate. President Trump is not ‘rolling back major environmental rules to allow pipelines and other major infrastructure projects to be built without strict environmental review’, as she put it. The Council of Environmental Quality’s (CEQ) proposed rule is designed to modernize the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to get it back in line with the actual law passed by Congress.

“NEPA has been widely abused by obstructionist groups to delay indefinitely or even stop responsible infrastructure projects of all kinds, leading to huge additional costs and lost jobs. American citizens are the losers as these huge cost overruns waste their tax dollars and make them endure substandard roads, bridges, water systems, and other infrastructure. NEPA obstruction contributes to crumbling infrastructure as projects are held up for years and even decades. CEQ is undergoing a proper rulemaking, as required by law, to enable infrastructure projects of all kinds to move forward in a reasonable amount of time while still ensuring environmental protection.”