UPDATE 9/9/20: The Sierra Club, a far-left group influential among Democrats that is supporting Joe Biden for president, told Yahoo Finance they will “have a way” to implement a fracking ban in a Biden administration.

“With a possible Biden administration, we’ll have a way” to ban fracking, Ramon Cruz, president of the Sierra Club, told Yahoo Finance. […] “What is important here is that [Biden has a] platform that is focusing on transitioning to a fossil fuel free environment economy in the future, and actually, the plan that he has put forward is quite, you know, progressive in that way,” Cruz said.


Joe Biden came under fire on Monday for his repeated commitments throughout the presidential campaign to end fracking in the U.S.

Biden claimed in Pennsylvania he does not favor banning fracking outright. However, his commitment to “end fossil fuel” all but guarantees a Biden presidency would put fracking on the path to extinction in Colorado.

The most immediate threat to fracking from Biden is his commitment to end new fracking leases on federal land, a policy also supported by John Hickenlooper.

“I don’t have a problem saying, ‘On public lands, we shouldn’t do any additional leasing,'” Hickenlooper said in February.

Ending new energy permits would have disastrous consequences for regions like the Western Slope that rely on federal leases.

According to the BLM, energy development from public lands directly contributed $796 million to Colorado’s economy in 2016, while nearly 23,000 jobs in Colorado are tied to mineral and energy development on federal land.

Mark Mills, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and professor at Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering, argues Biden and Hickenlooper’s promise to end new federal energy leasing would quickly become an overall ban.

Mr. Biden’s proposal to ban only “new” manufacturing is too cute by half. Just as with manufacturing or farming, fracking is a continual process. So banning “new” output quickly becomes an overall ban.

More broadly, Biden’s platform calls for ending fossil fuel “via several policies, including a target of 100% carbon-free power by 2035.”

There is no way to achieve those kinds of goals without eliminating energy production from hydraulic fracturing, especially given natural gas accounted for a whopping 38% of America’s electricity generation in 2019.

In Colorado, that means eliminating more than 100,000 jobs tied to the energy industry, $600 million in severance taxes supporting schools, and tens of billions from local economies across the state.

Given Biden’s advanced age and the fact he has pitched himself as a “transitional” candidate, it’s worth taking a look at what his running mate says about fracking.

Obviously this doesn’t paint the most optimistic picture for Colorado’s energy industry under a Biden/Harris administration.

Democrats like Biden and Hickenlooper can really argue whatever they want, but they can’t escape the fact that their support for draconian carbon limits would necessitate the wholesale elimination of fracking as an energy source.

Some Democrats, like Harris, are at least honest and admit it. It would be nice if Biden and Hick would come clean so we can have an honest debate about Colorado’s energy future this fall.