Banning hydraulic fracturing in the US would eliminate 19 million jobs between 2021 and 2025 while reducing Gross Domestic Product by $7.1 trillion between 2021 and 2025, a study by the US Chamber of Commerce’s Global Energy Institute (GEI) concluded on Dec. 19.
Energy prices would skyrocket, with natural gas prices rising by 324%, causing household energy bills to quadruple and the cost of living to increase by $5,661 for the average American, it warned. By 2025, the price of gasoline would double, and government revenue would plunge by nearly $1.9 trillion, the study said.
“Increased oil and gas production driven by hydraulic fracturing has been fueling America’s sustained period of growth over the past decade, while making us both cleaner and stronger,” GEI Pres. Martin J. Durbin observed.
“Our study shows that banning fracing would have a catastrophic effect on our economy, inducing the equivalent of a major recession and raising the cost of living for everyone across the country. This bad idea should be abandoned,” he maintained.
The report is the first in the 2020 edition of GEI’s “Energy Accountability Series,” which looks at what could happen if energy proposals from candidates and interest groups actually were adopted. It updated a 2016 study with new data and analysis, and information about several new states.
Impacts in seven states
The report provided national impacts of a fracing ban, as well as state-specific impacts for five energy producing states (Colorado, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas) and two states with limited energy production, Michigan and Wisconsin.
“Under a fracing ban, less domestic energy production also means less energy security as the US once again returns to heavy dependence on imported oil and natural gas,” the report warned in its executive summary.
“This would quickly reverse America’s rise as a major oil and gas exporter, an achievement that has reduced our trade deficit while helping our allies and trading partners enhance their energy security, reduce emissions, and ensure the energy they purchase is produced under one of the most stringent environmental regulatory regimes in the world,” it said.
Significantly higher gas prices also would undermine US progress in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, the report’s executive summary continued.
“Since 2005, the increased use of gas has helped reduce US carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2.8 billion metric tons – roughly the equivalent of annual emissions from Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom combined,” it said.
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