But What About New Mexico’s Students?
Posted October 16, 2019
Hydraulic fracturing – the technological breakthrough that launched the U.S. energy revolution – has taken a beating during the Democratic presidential derby.
The Washington Post ran this graphic recently, showing that the entire field would ban fracking altogether or restrict it in some capacity. Here’s the portion of the graphic showing the candidates who would ban fracking completely:
As you can see, the group includes some top-tier candidates, U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris. Sen. Warren tweeted last month that she would ban fracking everywhere, while Sen. Sanders told the Post that safe fracking is a “pure fiction.”
Not fiction are the negative impacts throughout our society that could result from banning hydraulic fracturing: millions of job losses, trillions lost to the economy, significant increases in household spending on energy.
Contrast that with the benefits we’ve seen from safe and responsible energy development using fracking: economic growth, consumer benefits (Americans today pay about a dollar less per gallon of gasoline than they did in 2012), increased energy security and the lowest levels of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions in a generation, mostly thanks to increased use of natural gas. In this context, it’s remarkable how easily some talk about undermining the U.S. energy revolution.
We could use any number of examples to break down the potential effects of a fracking ban, but let’s look at New Mexico, the No. 3 oil producer and No. 9 natural gas producer in the U.S., with oil production nearly tripling over the past decade – and along with it, revenues to state coffers.
The state recently announced a plan to use natural gas and oil revenues to fund a program of free tuition at public universities for all residents, regardless of income, potentially benefitting an estimated 55,000 students. “Without the oil and gas industry, without the energy effort in this state, no one gets to make education the top priority moving forward,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
So, if there’s a fracking ban, what’s Plan B for tens of thousands of New Mexico students and their families?
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.