Final Presidential Debate Briefing

Ahead of the final presidential debate taking place tonight, be sure to read our brief primer so you can be up to speed on many of the nation’s top energy and climate change-related issues.

 

Fracking Ban – The U.S. president does not have the authority to ban fracking, but does have some authority over federal lands use, and in that regard, former Vice President Biden goes even further than a fracking ban by banning all new natural gas and oil development on federal lands. A recent study on a federal leasing and development ban found that nearly one million jobs could be lost by 2022, U.S. residential consumers could spend a cumulative $19 billion more on energy by 2030, and the U.S. GDP could decline by a cumulative $700 billion by 2030.

 

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Carbon-Free Power Sector By 2035 – Biden’s energy plan calls for transitioning the U.S. to 100% clean energy by 2035, just 15 years from now. For comparison, California’s transition to clean energy has been ongoing longer than 15-years, and even with the additional time and smaller scale, the state was recently plagued by blackouts. To give a further sense of how quick Biden’s 15-year timeline is:

 
  • It took the Department of Defense 17 years to develop and test just one jetfighter program – the F-35.
  • Boston’s ‘Big Dig’ took 16 years, one year longer than Biden’s plan allots to overhaul the nation’s power supply.
  • It took the Obama/Biden administration seven years to decide whether or not to approve a permit on just one energy infrastructure project – the Keystone pipeline.
 

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Replacing Natural Gas & Oil Jobs With Clean Energy Jobs – Biden glosses over the fact that he’s campaigning on eliminating countless natural gas and oil jobs by saying his plan would create millions of new jobs, however, the jobs his energy plan would create are worse than the natural gas & oil jobs it wants to destroy.

  • The North America’s Building Trades Unions—a coalition of 14 unions with 3 million members—released a pair of studies that found both union and non-union’ tradespeople believed natural gas and oil jobs have better wages, benefits and opportunities than renewables projects.

WSJ Editorial Board: “The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the oil and gas industry provides an average annual salary of $108,000, nearly twice the private economy average… NABTU president Sean McGarvey estimates that many union members would ‘take a 50% or 75% pay cut.’”

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Reducing U.S. Emissions – Lowering America’s CO2 emissions does not mean America has to lower its natural gas and oil production, and U.S. policy should reflect that. America’s record proves we can increase production and lower emissions, and in fact, the U.S. leads the world in emissions reductions since 2000 thanks to greater use of natural gas and advancing technology and innovation.

 

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are at their lowest in a generation, and we’re continuing to see progress. The International Energy Agency reported that the U.S. recorded the largest emissions decline of any country last year, down 140 million tons (Mt) from the previous year. Although most Americans would never know based on environmental activists’ antagonism towards natural gas, natural gas displacing coal power has actually led to a greater reduction in CO2 emissions than non-carbon power sources, like wind and solar, displacing coal power. Natural gas has prevented over 3.3 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions since 2005.

 
 

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Methane Emissions –Biden has repeatedly said methane emissions from fracking have to be managed well, and we agree, which is why our industry is proactively addressing methane emissions.

  • Methane emissions from natural gas systems have fallen by 11.4 percent between 2005 and 2018 even as U.S. natural gas production increased 58 percent over the same period.
  • Methane emission rates from five of the largest U.S. producing regions, like the Permian, have fallen more than 60 percent between 2011 and 2018.
  Reducing methane emissions from natural gas and oil production – by companies whose business model is based on bringing natural gas to market – is behind initiatives such as The Environmental Partnership, a collaboration of 85 participating companies, including 36 of the top 40 U.S. natural gas producers.  

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U.S. Energy Production & National Security – Implementing policies restricting U.S. natural gas and oil production would be energy security self-sabotage, erasing a generation of progress towards U.S. energy security while also ceding American geopolitical power to Vladimir Putin and OPEC.

  • Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Yergin: America’s record oil production “not only contributes to U.S. energy security but also contributes to world energy security by bringing new supplies to the world”
  • EU’s European Commission: “[T]he start of U.S. LNG exports to the EU in 2016 have improved the security of gas supply in Europe” and U.S gas export can play an “increasing role” in “EU energy security.”
  • The Wall Street Journal’s Editorial Board: “By offering an alternative to Russian energy, the U.S. empowers its European allies and weakens the Kremlin’s coercive regional influence.”
  • Condoleezza Rice: [W]e’re seeing a structural change in the nature of oil markets largely because of the North American platform… It really is a bit of a lesson, by the way, to the bad boys of the oil markets, that they can’t play these games in quite the same way. I was Secretary of State when oil spiked at $146 a barrel. Nothing warps diplomacy like oil at $146 a barrel. You had Hugo Chavez buying elections all over Latin America, Iranians refusing to come to the table to negotiate about their nuclear program, and you had the Russians talking about cutting off the supply of the gas to the Ukrainians, and by implication, to Eastern Europe or even to Western Europe.”
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