President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden leads Trump in survey of Texas voters from left-leaning pollster On The Trail: Making sense of Super Poll Sunday Trump rebukes FBI for investigating supporters accused of harassing Biden bus MORE this weekend directed his administration to put together a report on what the effects would be of putting a ban or tighter restrictions on fracking, a controversial oil and gas extraction method he’s sought to emphasize his support for on the campaign trail.
The president on Saturday issued a memo directing Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette to submit reports within 70 days on both the economic and national security implications of banning or restricting fracking.
The order comes as President Trump has sought to differentiate himself from his Democratic opponent, Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden leads Trump in survey of Texas voters from left-leaning pollster On The Trail: Making sense of Super Poll Sunday Trump rebukes FBI for investigating supporters accused of harassing Biden bus MORE, on the issue and has continued to falsely say that Biden wants to ban fracking.
While Biden has said he does not want to get rid of fracking — except for the issuance of new fracking permits on public land — he said during a recent town hall that it has to be “managed very, very well.”
He also has called for carbon neutrality by 2050, which would likely require reduced dependence on fossil fuels.
Fracking is a method of extracting oil and gas from rocks that is used by industry in states such as Pennsylvania, an important battleground in the presidential election. It’s controversial because it has been linked to water contamination.
The White House memo requires reports on the effects on wages, energy prices, property values, revenues and trade. It also requires assessing potential effects on energy production on U.S. energy security and any potential effects on energy production in Russia and China.
Trump tweeted Saturday that he signed an order to “protect fracking and the oil and gas industry,” although the order wouldn’t actually directly cause any policy changes.
Brouillette, in a statement, applauded the memo and outlined what he believed the results of outlawing fracking would be.
“A ban on fracking would result in the loss of millions of jobs, the doubling of gasoline prices, and the quadrupling of electricity costs,” he said.
Meanwhile, a New York Times-Siena College poll released on Sunday found that 52 percent of Pennsylvania voters support fracking while 27 percent oppose it.