March 8, 2016

Clinton Wants to Stop Hydraulic Fracturing


  • Over the past decade, energy producers have relied on hydraulic fracturing to drive America’s shale oil and gas renaissance.

  • On Sunday, Hillary Clinton promised to regulate hydraulic fracturing out of existence.

  • Stopping hydraulic fracturing and imposing other regulatory constraints on oil and gas production would cost more than 800,000 jobs by the end of the next president’s first term.


Over the past decade, energy producers have relied on hydraulic fracturing to drive America’s shale oil and gas renaissance – the one bright spot in President Obama’s otherwise failed economy. On Sunday, Hillary Clinton promised to regulate hydraulic fracturing – and all of its corresponding economic, environmental, and geopolitical benefits – out of existence. 

“So 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.”Hillary Clinton, 03-06-2016

Secretary Clinton’s pledge to eliminate hydraulic fracturing comes as no surprise. Last month, she said banning fossil fuel production on federal lands would be “a done deal” if she becomes president. Imposing these and other regulatory constraints on oil and gas production would block hundreds of thousands of American jobs, according to a study released last year. 

In Less than Four Years, Thousands of American Jobs Would Be Blocked

Energy job loss united states map

Democrats’ anti-energy policies to constrain oil and gas production would eliminate more than 800,000 jobs in 2020, and make gasoline and other petroleum products more expensive. In contrast, pro-energy policies to remove regulatory constraints from oil and gas production would generate 400,000 jobs in 2020, and make gasoline and other products less expensive.

The elimination of hydraulic fracturing would undermine one of America’s most powerful environmental tools. In 2013, greenhouse gas emissions were 9 percent below 2005 levels even as population and energy use increased – thanks to cleaner-burning natural gas. For the past decade, this fuel has been abundant and affordable precisely because of hydraulic fracturing.

Contrary to Democratic claims, American energy producers have used hydraulic fracturing in more than one million wells since the 1940s without generating one confirmed case of water contamination. Over the past decade, they have further strengthened the environmental performance of oil and gas production through technological innovation. The administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, the secretary of the Interior Department, the secretary of the Energy Department, and other current and former Obama administration officials agree that hydraulic fracturing is safe.

Eliminating hydraulic fracturing would also weaken America’s standing in the world. America would no longer be able to produce the oil and gas that our allies in Europe and Asia want. These countries are looking to us to help them rely less on Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and other problematic suppliers. The United States would no longer be able to apply downward pressure to global prices by contributing oil and gas supplies to global markets. This would give belligerent energy exporting countries more money to pursue military ambitions and to destabilize the world.  

Hydraulic fracturing has already enabled America’s energy producers to position the U.S. as the world’s greatest supplier of oil and gas. Producers continue to use this process to unlock vast energy resources in an environmentally responsible way. It is reckless for any national policymaker to suggest that Americans would be better off if the federal government were to eliminate this vital economic, environmental, and geopolitical tool.

Issue Tag: Energy