Hillary Clinton’s promise to regulating hydraulic fracking out of existence during the recent presidential debate in Flint, Michigan would be alarming if anyone took it seriously. However, according to Fortune Magazine, neither the energy companies and energy independence advocates nor environmentalists believe her.
Essentially, Clinton promised, as president, to oppose fracking if local communities opposed it, if it could be proven to cause air or water pollution, and if energy companies failed to disclose the chemicals used in the process. She suggested that with these conditions, not many places would exist in the United States that would allow fracking.
Two factors stand in the way of Clinton fulfilling the campaign promise.
First, the federal government has limited authority to regulate fracking, an activity that is managed by state and local governments.
Second, fracking has brought on to the market an abundance of oil and gas, which has driven down energy prices and have benefited both consumers and businesses. Banning fracking would return the United States to $100 a barrel oil and would impact Americans directly at the gas pump and in their utility bills.
Clinton had been a proponent of fracking when she was secretary of state, urging other countries to allow the technology as a way to wean themselves off of oil from the Middle East and Russia. She has turned against fracking because her opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders, is against it. Sanders has the excuse that, as an avowed socialist, he is unencumbered by any knowledge of economics. Clinton has no such excuse.
Clinton has been pursuing a political strategy of never letting Sanders get to the left of her. So, if he is against fracking, so she must be against it as well.
Unfortunately, from Clinton’s standpoint, her new hardline stand against fracking leaves her open to attack from her Republican opponent during the general election. Not only has she flip flopped from her previous position, but the opposition to fracking will cause enormous damage to the American economy. Clinton will either have to perform another flip flop or she is going to have to “clarify” her opposition to fracking to make it seem less frightening. #Election 2016 #Climate Change #Democrats vs Republicans