Economy, Regs, & Taxes

Clinton's Ecofascist Fracking Play

"I do not think there will be many places where fracking will continue."

Lewis Morris · Mar. 9, 2016

People on the Left may think they see a difference between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders as the two duke it out for the Democrat nomination, but those of us with common sense and constitutional principles only see two peas from the same pod.

Sanders has made no bones about his desire to grow the government to such an extent that it basically runs the means of production in this country. He’s a socialist, and that’s how socialists think. Clinton has pretended to embrace a (slightly) more laissez faire view of the economy that would allow business to take more care of itself. But that’s coming from a candidate who advocates lavish corporate welfare through the Export-Import Bank. Poor Boeing can’t compete without massive taxpayers subsidies, don’t you know.

Sunday’s debate was a good example of the commonality that exists between the two leftists. Sanders was asked about hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking” — the process by which American energy companies have produced a glut of oil and natural gas, thereby saving individual consumers hundreds of dollars a year. Sanders didn’t miss a beat, saying he does not support fracking and would ban the practice outright. Clinton’s answer was more nuanced on its face, but came out the same way.

Take a gander at this tripe from candidate Clinton: “You know, I don’t support it when any locality or any state is against it, number one. I don’t support it when the release of methane or contamination of water is present. I don’t support it — number three — unless we can require that anybody who fracks has to tell us exactly what chemicals they are using. 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. And I think that’s the best approach, because right now, there are places where fracking is going on that are not sufficiently regulated.”

In short, after a bizarre and half-hearted paean to federalism, Clinton went on to conclude she intends to regulate fracking out of existence just like Barack Obama has done with the coal industry. But that is an utterly foolish move.

The low gas prices that Obama has taken credit for are largely a result of fracking. Again, the practice makes natural gas and oil cheaper to extract and energy more affordable. The Wall Street Journal reports that the average price of natural gas dropped close to 60% between 2008 and 2012. Furthermore, consumers have saved between $63 and $248 billion in 2013 alone, according to the Institute for Energy Research, and the savings continue to add up. The IER reported that without fracking, crude oil would cost $12 to $40 per barrel more. Not to mention that we’d be paying foreign countries for more oil.

These savings have been most beneficial to the poorest families in the country because they spend a larger part of their income on energy and transportation than wealthier families do. At a time when energy prices, like health care costs, are rising so fast they threaten the financial well-being of millions of families, any relief is welcome. And that’s particularly true of the relief at the gas pump coming from fracking.

Even the EPA, the ungodly monster that has become the principal tool for the Left’s forcible conversion of the American economy, has obliquely supported fracking. A draft report the agency published in June last year states, “We did not find evidence that [fracking] mechanisms have led to widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water sources in the United States.”

Clinton is having none of it. She has decided to go after the ecofascist vote and drive yet another clean, economical energy source into oblivion. Her proposals will drive up energy costs, but she doesn’t care. After all, it suits her politically, and she’s not exactly dead broke either. When was the last time she drove herself anywhere or filled up her gas tank? Or worried about whether she could pay her heating bill?

She remains shockingly unconcerned about the impact her policies would have on one of the constituencies she is supposedly looking out for. But, then again, it’s not about how Clinton can help. It’s about what her supporters can do to help her.

Click here to show comments