The Democratic presidential candidates seem to be racing to see who can make the most outrageous statements relating to energy with no regard to facts or truth. This seems like crazy political talk, but many people across the country hear it and believe it’s possible. Nearly every top Democrat contender has said they would ban fracking, stop production offshore and on federal lands, ban exports and some even say they will ban oil imports – a bold statement considering we rely on oil and natural gas for 67% of our energy.
Their radical energy policies would set our country back decades. Thanks to fracking, the United States has seen tremendous progress. We are now the world leader in oil and natural gas production, and by 2020, we will be energy independent.
This energy renaissance started right here in North Dakota and today, 95% of North Dakota’s 1.4 million barrels of oil production per day comes from shale oil wells that are completed using the stimulation technique called fracking.
North Dakota’s oil and natural gas industry has created unprecedented wealth and prosperity for the state. It has given our young people a reason to stay, and we’ve attracted workers and families from all over the globe to work and live here. Just a little over a decade ago, we were closing schools. Today, we are building them.
Thanks to fracking, our economy is booming, and our state coffers are full. Oil and gas tax revenues made up 50% of total taxes paid in 2018, and a recent study of the oil industry conducted by NDSU reveals:
• $32.6 billion contributed to North Dakota’s economy in 2017;
• $2.7 billion in state and local taxes paid;
• $4.3 billion paid in private wages and salaries in 2018, 23.3% of all private wages and salaries paid in North Dakota;
• $1.6 billion in royalties paid in state in 2017.
It is hard to imagine anyone would run on a platform that calls for economic recession, unemployment, and devastating our national security, but that is what a fracking ban would cause. Their policies would eliminate our nation’s primary energy source, stop our trek toward energy independence and energy security, and require our allies across the world to go back to our enemies to get their energy. It would throw our financial markets into chaos, decimating Americans’ retirement and savings accounts. But what’s even more terrifying is that they would literally be throwing millions of people out in the cold by taking away 67% of the energy we rely on to heat and power our homes and businesses. There is currently no other affordable and available resource that can replace oil and natural gas in the next 30 or more years — except, of course, coal, but these radical candidates aren’t likely to overlook our friends in that industry, either.
If this is the vision the Democrat presidential candidates have for America and they succeed, we better all fill our tanks and start chopping wood before the next election.