Bernie Sanders pledges to ban ‘fracking’ if elected president in 2020

By Michael Bastasch

Sen. Bernie Sanders, a 2020 presidential candidate, pledged to ban the drilling technique that’s turned the U.S. into the world’s largest oil and natural gas producer.

“Fracking pollutes water, degrades air quality and worsens climate change,” the Vermont Independent tweeted Tuesday. “When we are in the White House we are going to ban fracking nationwide and rapidly move to renewable energy.”

Sanders was responding to Oregon state lawmakers passing legislation to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. However, Sanders also voiced his opposition to fracking during the 2016 election cycle.

Sanders, who is running on the Democratic ticket, is popular among the so-called “keep it in the ground” movement, which seeks to ban fossil fuels in the name of global warming. Activists in this camp have also pressured candidates not to take fossil fuel industry campaign donations, which Sanders has pledged not to do.

Environmentalists have campaigned to ban fracking for years, finding success in New York, Maryland, Vermont and some localities. Like Sanders, activists point to studies alleging links between fracking and water contamination, poor air quality, illness and even birth defects.

Activists have largely zeroed in on claims fracking contaminates groundwater. Most notably, the “Gasland” film series featured faucets and even a hose catching on fire because of fracked methane getting into water supplies.

However, government agencies and teams of researchers have found little to no evidence fracking is leading to widespread contamination of groundwater.

In late 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its five-year study of fracking and groundwater contamination. EPA said that while fracking can potentially impact groundwater, the number of cases where that’s happened is small.

The following year the U.S. Geological Survey published a study examining groundwater from 116 wells in Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas. The study only found nine instances of contamination, but none were linked to fracking.

That same year the Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas concluded that drinking water contamination from fracking “has not been observed in Texas.” Texas is the biggest oil and gas producing state.

Fracking proponents also point to government data showing that increased natural gas production has reduced more carbon dioxide emissions than solar and wind power combined.

Because of fracking, U.S. oil and natural gas production has surged to never-before-seen levels. U.S. oil output hit a record 12 million barrels per day in February, and natural gas production is expected to continue breaking records through 2020.

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Image courtesy of Bruce Parker/TNR

11 thoughts on “Bernie Sanders pledges to ban ‘fracking’ if elected president in 2020

  1. I realize change is difficult. We know depending of fossil fuels is not sustainable. Yes we can change.

  2. Bernie ” Soapbox ” Sanders, if you think his normal rhetoric is pure BS, now that he thinks
    the DemocRATs are going to let him in their clubhouse he’s a fool…. but we all know that !!

    He will agree on everything, mostly free stuff to try and sway these mineless millennials that
    are looking for a free ride……… Hopefully, they’ll wake up and see it’s not free.

    Bernie, the buffoon from Vermont……… you should be proud !!

  3. I got an email from Bernie and he said he would buy me a new house AND a new car! How can I not vote for someone who is going to provide all of this just for me……..we’ll all be drinkin’ that free bubble-up and eatin’ that rainbow stew.

  4. It’s obvious burnee hit his head to hard and disturbed the one marble in there. If burnee would just look at the base of any of his wind mills he
    would see ACTUAL birds that have been killed by the blades of the inefficient low electricity producer. Mean while we just learned our carbon
    footprint has been lowered through the use of Fracked Gas. Fossil fuel works, fossil fools, ie: burnee Don’t…

  5. Who”s going to pay for all his free s–t? He’s promising everything and the flock believes him. What fools..

  6. Socialist Sanders wants no nukes, no gas, no coal, no oil for electricity generation, but he wants wind turbines everywhere, and solar panels everywhere.

    How would that work, if the wind is not sufficiently blowing and the sun is not sufficiently shining, and the sun is not shining at all from early evening to late morning the next day?

    Thé US economy would just call a time out?

    Bernie, stop drinking the Kool-Aid, and stop blabbering nonsense fed to you by environmentalists, who likely have never analized any energy systems.

    Listen to independent, experienced energy systems analysts, instead of environmentalists, who know next to nothing about analyzing energy systems, but make all sorts of pronouncements about them.

    • As an addition to above comment, the Millstone nuclear plant in Connecticut, 2100 MW, more than 3 times Vermont Yankee, signed a 10-y contract with two Connecticut utilities to buy the plant electricity output, more than 14 billion kWh/y, at about 5 c/kWh.

      This will be a huge boost for the CT economy, and for the stability of the NE grid.
      Modern grids cannot do without base loaded power, no matter what 100% RE folks say. Those folks likely never analyzed any energy systems, but spout off anyway.

      It was a big mistake to allow Shumlin to hound VY, to close down Vermont Yankee and lose the 4.5 billion kWh/y of near-zero-CO2, low-cost, 5.5 c/kWh, electricity.

      The VY fiasco and his other RE follies are weighing down the VT economy.

      It looks like Connecticut leaders are a lot smarter.

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