The consensus among energy industry folks I’ve spoken too is that not even President Obama is a zealous enough environmentalist to try and mess with fracking by banning it or regulating it to death. But it’s an election year, and Obama has liberal constituencies to placate, and the greenies are an important one for him.
So the question is, does this tough talk about fracking mean Obama is really planning something that would harm domestic energy production? Or is it just good election year politics?
Heather Zichal, the top White House energy aide, told reporters that she expects the Interior Department rules regulating hydraulic fracturing, dubbed fracking, to be completed by year’s end.
“We are committed to doing the rule and we are committed to finalizing it,” Zichal told reporters after remarks at the think tank NDN.
Advocates of tougher “fracking” oversight will have their eyes on the calendar, especially if President Obama loses the White House to Mitt Romney, his GOP rival.
In her wide-ranging remarks on energy to the group, Zichal touted White House plans to spur development of both traditional and alternative sources, including natural gas.
On one hand, fracking is tied to a lot of economic impact. Not just energy jobs, but lower cost for power too. Natural gas prices have plummeted, and oil prices are coming down too, because of the additional oil/gas supplies fracking has brought to the market. Banning fracking, or regulating it in any significant way from the federal level, would have a dramatic economic impact.
On the other hand, if he won re-election Obama wouldn’t be in a position to ever have to worry about getting elected again. He would be free to live up to his liberal agenda.
For those Americans concerned with free energy markets, why take a chance on re-electing the President?