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Op-ed

Horowitz: Kamala Harris' stunning reversal on fracking ban

Democratic VP nominee dodges the issue

Photo by ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

What a difference a general election debate makes. In the primaries, Democrat candidates had no problem boldly and emphatically proclaiming their anarchist views. Yet, when they get on a general debate stage, they are suddenly shy and full of diffidence about their deep-seated views.

Kamala Harris, just like Joe Biden a week ago, refused to vouch for the Democratic position on packing the Supreme Court, endless virus lockdowns, the Green New Deal, raising taxes on most people, or Antifa rioters. But the biggest shocker of the night was her running away from the fracking ban as if it were the plague. Not only did Harris dodge the issue of banning fracking, she went out of her way to assert on two occasions that Biden absolutely will not ban fracking.

On Sept. 5, 2019, CNN held a "climate change" town hall with the Democrat candidates. Harris could not have been more unequivocal about her desire to ban fracking:

"I'm in favor of banning fracking," she said flatly in response to a question from a Democrat voter in the audience.

Already early on in the debate Wednesday night, before Vice President Mike Pence even cornered her on fracking, she brought the issue up on her own. In response to Pence accusing Biden of wanting to raise taxes and rolling back regulatory relief in general, Harris declared, "Joe Biden will not end fracking, he has been very clear about that."

Pence then pointed out that Biden looked a kid in the eye and said, "I guarantee you we're going to end fossil fuels." Here is the video of Biden doing just that on Sept. 6, 2019, in a way only Biden could:

At that point, moderator Susan Page asked Harris about whether Biden supports the Green New Deal that she co-sponsored in the Senate, a question she never answered directly. But again, Harris went out of her way to back away from the fracking ban.

"So, first of all, I will repeat and the American people know that Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact. That is a fact," said Harris, prefacing her remarks on environmental policy.

So why would Harris run from an idea that has become nearly universal among Democrats, even though she herself co-sponsored it?

Well, it's the same reason why President Trump and Pence need to talk about the issue more often. The fracking revolution and the growth of America into an energy superpower is simply the greatest untold miracle of the Trump presidency. It has resulted in massive job growth, cheaper prices, more local tax revenue, stronger economic and even national security leverage against Russia, China, and Iran, and has made us the global energy superpower — all with a very limited imprint on our land.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, before the coronavirus shutdown in March, American crude oil production hit an all-time record of 13 million barrels per day (bpd). That is an astounding 46% increase in production since Trump took office in January 2017. Poor states like New Mexico have benefited enormously with more state revenue and jobs, as oil production has increased 250% since 2012.

It's not just our producing capacity that has grown. Our oil refineries are processing record amounts of oil. Earlier this year, we hit 18.9 million barrels per day through the refineries, clearly keeping up with the supply of production.

Then there is the natural gas revolution. Natural gas production has increased 28.5% since Trump took office and is hovering near record highs at 3 trillion cubic feet per month. Already in 2011, the U.S. surpassed Russia as the lead producer of natural gas, and now we are flooding the European market. The EIA predicts that U.S. liquified natural gas exports will increase 72% this year over last year's impressive showing.

In petroleum production combined with "other liquids" production, total U.S. production is close to 21 million bpd. That is 67% and 83% more than Saudi Arabia and Russia, respectively. Just seven years ago, those countries were producing more than us.

The more we drill for oil and gas, the more we recover. Far from running out of resources, proven reserves of crude oil have increased by 12% since 2017 and have more than doubled over the past 13 years. Likewise, proven reserves of natural gas increased to 9% since 2017 and more than doubled since 2005 to 504.5 trillion cubic feet.

In addition to nearly achieving energy independence, the U.S. is now dominating the global market and helping relieve the pressure of Iran and Russia's petro-tyranny on other countries. When Trump took office, there was essentially no concept of us exporting crude oil to the world. Our exporting capacity has now increased more than threefold. We are also now importing less oil than ever before.

Remember when Iran threatened to cause an oil crisis after Trump terminated the Iran deal and then killed their top general? Well, it fell flat because not only are we no longer dependent on Middle East energy, but we shield the rest of the world with our umbrella of production and exportation. The days of petro-hostage taking are over.

This has all been made possible by the technological advances and the land leasing and permitting that Harris and Biden want to terminate. However, outside of left-wing rallies and forums they cannot afford to tell the American people the truth. Now you know why.

One last thing…
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