In a local interview that aired Monday in Philadelphia, former Vice President Joe Biden said he would allow new fracing to take place so long as there were safeguards in place for the water supply and to prevent methane leaks, adding “they’re the two things, that’s it. I will not ban fracing.”
However, Biden failed to mention that his climate/energy plan would also ban “new oil and gas permitting on public lands and waters,” which is a de facto ban on new fracking within federal lands. In the context of federal lands and waters, Biden’s proposed ban actually goes further than a fracing ban as it would ban all new natural gas and oil development even if fracing is not involved.
Biden’s omission is significant as energy produced on federal lands and waters plays a critical role in America’s energy revolution, accounting for 12% of U.S. natural gas production and 22% of U.S. oil production. A recent study on a federal leasing and development ban found that nearly 1 million jobs could be lost by 2022, U.S. residential consumers could spend a cumulative $19 billion more on energy by 2030, and the U.S. GDP could decline by a cumulative $700 billion by 2030.