In Colorado, we like to say that responsible energy development is not a partisan issue.
After all, our Democratic governor, John Hickenlooper, once worked in the oil and gas industry as a geologist and understands that hydraulic fracturing is a safe process. In fact, at an event last May, when asked if his former position made him biased toward the oil and gas industry, he simply said: “I’m not biased in favor of the industry, I’m biased in favor of the facts.”
Now, that’s not to say every Democrat in Colorado politics supports our industry. There are currently two bills up in the legislature sponsored by Democrats that would be devastating to responsible oil and gas development in Colorado. However, it’s important to note that two weeks ago, an anti- oil and gas bill was killed in a House committee with two Democrats joining five Republicans to kill the measure.
Unfortunately, we’re currently missing that kind of leadership and clear thought on the left side of the ledger when it comes to national politics.
The two Democratic candidates for president have both come out against fracking in recent weeks. They have pushed aside scientific facts and research in order to pander to environmental activists in their hunt for convention delegates.
It’s easy for our industry to come out swinging against Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders for their stances on our industry, but, perhaps more importantly, they’re getting hammered by editorial boards across the country for their extreme positions on hydraulic fracturing.
Bernie Sanders’ opposition is blunt: “No, I do not support fracking. … I talk to scientists who tell me that fracking is doing terrible things to water systems all over this country.”
Of course, as the Washington Post points out, clearly he’s not talking to scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency, which said last year that fracking has caused no “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water sources in the United States.” (I’ll add that he’s also clearly not talking to Yale University or Ohio University.)
Hillary Clinton’s stance is a bit more nuanced, but, ultimately, just as dangerous if she were to follow through. She wants to impose so many conditions on fracking that, as she said, “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.”
The Wall Street Journal then penned this devastating editorial titled “Clinton Against American Energy.”
The Denver Post took on both candidates, saying their views on responsible domestic energy development are “diametrically opposed to the interests of the poor and middle class that Clinton and Sanders profess to support.”
The Aurora Sentinel rightly called out the candidates for ignoring science.
And the Houston Chronicle, home to a lot of oil and gas companies, also took note, saying if Sanders doesn’t support fracking, he clearly doesn’t support affordable energy, thousands of good-paying blue collar jobs and gasoline below $2 a gallon.
The Chronicle even mentions Governor Hickenlooper’s support for industry.
Some in the media question whether Hillary Clinton will be such a fracktivist as president, given her previous support. See this Fortune piece here titled “Hillary Clinton’s Pledge to Limit Fracking Falls on Unconvinced Ears.” But right now, we only know that her rush to the fringe left has left many editorialists scratching their heads and firing up their computers.
Americans deserve to hear the truth about hydraulic fracturing and responsible energy development. Right now, it’s all hot air.