Sommers: Fracking Helps Consumers, Environment
Posted February 25, 2020
Listen to API President and CEO Mike Sommers make the case for safe hydraulic fracturing – the chief reason the U.S. is the world’s leading natural gas and oil producer – during this interview with CNBC:
Sommers makes the affirmative argument for fracking because some presidential candidates are talking about banning it – as well as federal natural gas and oil leasing. Sommers said millions of good-paying American jobs, U.S. security and significant environmental progress could be at risk if those advocating a ban on fracking get their way.
The CNBC appearance was among interviews Sommers gave while in New York City last week. In each of them Sommers underscored the vast benefits to the U.S. from modern fracking technology. Sommers:
“We’re focused on making sure this technology stays online, because it is helping consumers. … It’s also helped our environment. Because of the fracking/energy revolution in the United States in the last 10 years, prices have gone down, but also our environment has improved. In fact, we’re at 25-year lows in terms of the emissions being produced in the United States. We lead the world in emissions reduction – and that is mainly from the switch from coal as the lead energy production unit to natural gas, which is significantly cleaner. … If I told you about a technology that would help the environment, that would help American consumers, would reduce our trade deficit and increase American jobs, I think most politicians would jump on that, not try to ban it.”
Sommers lodged a similar, affirmative argument for hydraulic fracturing on Bloomberg TV:
"The fight is between those who don’t think the United States should use its resources and those who think we should maximize those resources. … If we were where we were 10 years ago, think about what would have happened if Iran [oil] went offline because of sanctions or Venezuela went offline because of sanctions … What do you think that would have done to American GDP or American jobs?”
Sommers added that abundant, affordable natural gas has produced significant environmental benefits to the U.S.:
“Our air is cleaner today than it has been in a generation, and that is mainly because natural gas has replaced coal in power generation.”
Unfortunately, as we’ve noted in previous posts (see here and here), some would throw away hard-earned progress as part of an energy agenda that opposes America’s leading energies.
As Americans live their busy lives – largely built on abundant natural gas and oil – they should take the fracking ban rhetoric seriously and think about the impacts of a return to increasing energy reliance on foreign suppliers, of higher domestic energy costs, lost jobs and a throwing away of key environmental progress.
Some already are. Here’s what Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto thinks about a ban on fracking:
“I don’t think that it’s fair to the families that have given over a hundred years of building this country to tell them that in five years you’re no longer going to have a job.”
Rick Bloomingdale, president of the AFL-CIO’s Pennsylvania chapter, also is skeptical about banning fracking:
“Nobody can tell me what these new jobs are that are going to replace these good union jobs in the energy industry if we ban fracking.”
Hydraulic fracturing is safe, industry is continually innovating to make it safer and more efficient, with a smaller and smaller environmental footprint. Industry, through coalitions including The Environmental Partnership, is focusing on technologies and best practices to keep reducing production-related emissions so that the economic and security benefits of U.S. natural gas and oil are accompanied by environmental advances.
We can do it. Our industry’s history is full of innovations to meet one challenge after another while supplying the country with the natural gas and oil for manufacturing, transportation, commerce and more. Thanks to fracking, we’re meeting U.S. and global energy demand while protecting the environment.
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.