The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants voters to know that a fracking ban would hurt their bottom line. The ban idea is being pushed hard by environmental groups and was adopted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) during his surprisingly-popular run for the Democratic nomination. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton seems to have carefully avoided calling for ban, but she supports moving away from fossil fuels and many down-ballot Democrats have called for a fracking ban. On November 2, the U.S. Chamber released a report called “What If…Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?” to give voters some context for that policy prescription.
The report tries to estimate the impacts over five years of a nationwide fracking ban implemented on January 1, 2017. It says the ban would cause 14.8 million jobs to disappear, and the price of gasoline to double. The U.S. would be at the mercy of Russia and the OPEC nations, while countries like Venezuela would benefit at our expense. The report also predicts that U.S. overall GDP would be reduced by $442 billion immediately and then down $1.6 billion by 2022. Ohio, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Texas would bear the brunt of this downturn.
The Chamber also expects a fracking ban would have negative consequences for the generation of electricity. Natural gas prices would spike 400% over the low prices we are enjoying now. This, in turn, would cause electricity prices to double as utilities are forced to move to more costly generation methods. That would drive up the cost of living for the average household by $4,000 per year. This helps illustrate how important cheap natural gas has become to electric utilities. In fact, in deregulated markets, customers can often negotiate directly with their utility to get prices below the normal tariff rate that factors in more costly forms of generation. EnergyCare’s trained professionals help you through the process. Contact us today for a free consultation.