Mrs. Animal and I live in Arapahoe County, Colorado; our county assessor is one PK Kaiser, who was formerly a member of the Colorado Democratic Party State Central & Executive Committees. So, Kaiser is a committed, partisan Democrat, which makes these comments on the 2020 election interesting. Excerpts, with my comments:
Senator Bernie Sanders promised to ban fracking. So did Senator Elizabeth Warren, who yesterday suspended her presidential campaign. Senator Joe Biden, the frontrunner, does not support banning fracking, but says that we need to transition away from it. Every candidate offered some plan to limit domestic energy production. While these positions might appeal to environmentalists, they won’t win over the swing state voters who rely on America’s oil and natural gas industry for affordable energy and good jobs.
It’s important to note that one of these swing states, Pennsylvania, is considered a must-win if the Democrats are to take the White House this fall.
The natural gas and oil industry supports more than 10 million high-paying jobs across the nation. Many of these jobs are located in swing states like Pennsylvania, Florida, and Michigan, all of which Democrats lost in 2016. The industry supports more than 12 percent of jobs in Texas, another key state Democrats want to carry in 2020.
Florida, of course, is another of these must-win swing states.
The industry is projected to support an additional 1.9 million American jobs by 2035. Nearly 60 percent of those positions will go to blue-collar workers, a group that supported President Trump in 2016. Pledging to destroy blue collar jobs won’t help Democrats win back this demographic.
Nor would the fact that banning fossil fuels will raise Americans’ energy bills. Recent advancements in fracking allowed U.S. energy firms to access previously untapped natural gas reserves. Thanks in part to this abundance of energy, the cost of heating a home with natural gas fell 12 percent between 2005 and 2010. That’s more than $300 a year in savings.
It’s not just the abundance of cheap, clean energy; it’s also our reduced (if not eliminated) dependence on foreign sources of energy. The U.S. is now a net energy exporter, and it’s in our interest to keep it that way.
Fracking bans and other Democratic plans would undo this progress. Eliminating fossil fuels from the power sector would cost the average American household $2,000 a year in added energy costs, according to one study.
In other words, it would make our nation darker, colder, and less healthy.
Contrary to what Democrats claim, this domestic energy boom has also done wonders for the environment. Thanks to the availability of cheap natural gas, energy firms have transitioned away from coal, which emits nearly twice as much carbon dioxide. Natural gas has done more to reduce carbon dioxide emissions than renewables since 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Today, U.S. emissions are nearing 30-year lows even as global emissions have risen 50 percent.
And here’s the real onion:
Clearly, Democrats think that demonizing the oil and natural gas industry is a winning strategy. The polls suggest otherwise.
In 2016, two-thirds of voters said they were more likely to vote for a candidate who supports increasing the production of oil and natural gas. And less than half of swing voters in the “Blue Wall” — Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota — support a fracking ban.
Democrats failed to attract swing state voters in 2016, and it cost them the election. Given candidates’ opposition to fossil fuels, they seem bound to repeat themselves in 2020.
But let’s examine this conflict from a strategic viewpoint on the part of these candidates.
It’s a well-known fact in Presidential elections that Democrat candidates have to tack left to win the nomination, and then move towards the center to win the general. The opposite applies to Republicans. Now, the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont won’t do this, assuming (as now does not seem likely) he wins the nomination. He’s structurally incapable of doing so, partly because he’s an ideologue, and partly because, to give credit where credit is due, he’s actually sincere – he really believes all the daffy ideas he propounds. As for Groper Joe, he’ll try to tack back in the general, but he’s on record now. President Trump, who is no polite, collegial type like past GOP candidates, will staple Biden’s previous anti-energy statements to his forehead.
And Groper Joe will stagger and stumble while trying to explain himself.
The Democrats have done this to themselves. If they want to win the 2024 election, I’d recommend a good hard look in the mirror first.