The American Petroleum Institute is launching a multi-million-dollar advertising blitz to counter plans by some Democrats to end new oil and gas drilling on public lands and introduce a national ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, Reuters reports.
“We know many candidates now are talking about this industry and we want to make sure the American people hear our story,” said API President and CEO Mike Sommers.
Democrats working to defeat Donald Trump in this year’s general election “vow to rapidly shift the country away from planet-warming fossil fuels if elected,” Reuters writes. “Democratic presidential contenders say a transition to a zero-emission economy can create millions of new jobs in clean energy industries like solar and wind.”
Sommers said the API campaign “would emphasize both the industry’s role in reducing national emissions through its promotion of [supposedly—Ed.] cleaner-burning natural gas, as well the importance of drilling to the economy,” the news agency adds. “He said an API study showed that banning hydraulic fracturing, a form of drilling that has triggered a record boom in oil and gas production, would kill 7.3 million jobs by 2022 and cost the economy $7.1 trillion by 2030.”
Reuters notes that the fracking boom has made the U.S. the world’s biggest oil and gas producer, while the replacement of coal plants with gas-fired generating stations ratcheted down the country’s greenhouse gas emissions.
“But the future of U.S. emissions has been cast into doubt as the Trump administration seeks to boost domestic fossil fuels development by rolling back Obama-era climate protections and other environmental regulations,” the news agency adds. “Environmentalists also say natural gas is not as clean as the industry bills it, because large volumes of planet-warming methane escape into the atmosphere during drilling and piping.”