U.S. Shale Producers Fear What President-Elect Biden’s Aggressive Climate Policies Mean for the Industry

U.S. Shale Producers Fear What President-Elect Biden’s Aggressive Climate Policies Mean for the Industry

December 16, 2020

The American shale revolution is to thank for the U.S. becoming the world’s largest oil producer in 2018 and it secured our country’s energy independence. Now, with the new incoming administration, American shale producers are worried for what President-elect Biden’s aggressive climate policies mean for the industry.

When asked by CNBC’s Hadley Gamble whether shale producers should be worried about the incoming administration, U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette replied, “Of course.”

Climate action on a federal government level could be catastrophic to the valuable industry. Biden has pledged to pursue “aggressive emissions reductions.” While no longer calling for an outright ban on fracking, Biden aims to significantly stifle the fossil fuel industry with regulation. 

CNBC reports: 

And when asked about his approach to the industry in a pre-election presidential debate with Trump, Biden said, “I would transition away from the oil industry, yes. The oil industry pollutes significantly. It has to be replaced by renewable energy over time.” He later backtracked somewhat, telling reporters, “We’re not getting rid of fossil fuels. We’re getting rid of the subsidies for fossil fuels, but we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time.” 

A major engine of the U.S. economy, the oil and gas industry has shed a staggering more than 100,000 jobs this year and thousands of shale wells have been forced shut as demand and prices plummeted due to the coronavirus pandemic. But Brouillette sees recovery in 2021, noting that oil benchmarks are already trading at around $50 per barrel, a dramatic recovery from the record lows hit in April.

The new administration should take note that increased regulation will only further hurt the already struggling oil and gas industry. While it may not be as heavily apparent in cities like Washington, energy-rich communities across the country have been hit hard during this pandemic and deserve the much-needed relief they have desperately waited for as crude demand and prices start to recover.

Further crippling the oil and gas industry that supports almost 10 million American jobs just as they start to bounce back is detached from the interests of the American people.