Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump promised to lift environmental regulations, open federal lands to energy production and make permitting easier during a speech at a hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, conference Thursday.
Trump contrasted his stance on fracking and coal to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s agenda, which he said would devastate the economy with new taxes and regulations.
“I am going to lift the restrictions on American energy and allow this wealth to pour into our communities — including right here in Pennsylvania,” Trump said at the conference. “The shale energy revolution will unleash massive wealth for American workers and families.”
The fracking industry was extremely concerned with comments Trump made in August, saying that he supports fracking in general, but thinks local governments should be able to ban the process in Colorado. Environmentalists in the state have been pushing local governments to ban fracking, despite a Colorado Supreme Court ruling.
Clinton swapped positions with Trump by supporting the Supreme Court ruling, which goes against the campaigns of many of her environmentalist supporters.
“I am not an expert on the Colorado constitution, and what I’m told is that the basis for the Colorado court’s decision was a Colorado constitutional one,” Clinton told a local reporter in August. “I have long been in favor of states and cities within states making up their own minds whether or not they want to permit fracking.”
Several state and federal courts have agreed with Clinton that only the state government has the legal authority to regulate fracking, as any ban would be “preempted by state law and therefore, is invalid and unenforceable.” The oil and gas industry of most states has historically been regulated by state, not local, government.
Environmental groups, including The Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch, Earthworks and a local group called Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED) currently support local bans on fracking in the state, and disagree with Clinton. Trump’s position on local fracking bans coincides with that of environmentalists.
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