Low Energy: Biden Follows Through on Fracking Ban

One of the key debates on the presidential campaign trail last year was whether Joe Biden would ban fracking. Biden initially pledged he would do so during the primaries, then changed that stance during the general election campaign. Now, he appears to be partially following through on the pledge, with a new executive order to halt all new fracking on federal lands.

Biden's latest order is cause for great concern in the Texas energy industry. "If your goal, for the Biden administration, is continued carbon emission reductions, there are countless ways to do that with the oil and gas industry playing a lead role," says David Holt, president of the Consumer Energy Alliance. "If your goal is to ban fossil energy, then we and most Americans I think fundamentally disagree with that."

Holt tells KTRH he wants the administration to work with the industry on legislative policy, rather than issuing sweeping orders. "These blanket positions that could potentially ban or restrict the use of fossil energy don't achieve the environmental goals the Biden administration said they want to achieve, all they do is wreck the economy," he says.

For now, the president's order is not a full fracking ban, but only temporarily halts new oil and gas leases on public lands. But that alone will be devastating to Texas energy, according to Holt. "Anything that risks fracking on public lands, or restricts or slows down fracking in any way, risks job losses not just in the oil and gas industry, but across the U.S. economy," he says. "At a time the economy is struggling to recover from the COVID pandemic, now is not the time to be restricting any jobs, anywhere, in any place."

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