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Toomey: Presidents Do Not Have the Unilateral Authority to Ban Fracking

November 12, 2019
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Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) has introduced a resolution in the Senate reaffirming that a president may not unilaterally impose a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing on state and private lands.

Senator Toomey's resolution comes on the heels of prominent Democratic presidential candidates like Senators Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Kamala Harris each stating that they intend to ban hydraulic fracturing if elected president in 2020.

"Natural gas has been a game changer for our country and our commonwealth," said Senator Toomey. "It is our top source for electricity generation, reduces the cost of home heating for tens of millions of Americans, supports our vast manufacturing sector, cuts CO2 emissions, and diminishes our reliance on foreign sources of energy. It's hard to overstate the benefits of natural gas.

"But now the top Democratic presidential candidates are competing with each other over who can be more hostile to this tremendous source of economic growth and national security. If enacted, their policies would abruptly end new natural gas extraction, drive up the cost of energy, cost many tens of thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania, create big holes in state and local government budgets, and increase our dependence on foreign energy sources once again.

"It is essential we push back on these ideas that threaten the prosperity and security of Pennsylvanians and Americans. I urge all of my colleagues to support this resolution."

Senator Toomey announced this resolution on Friday in Harrisburg, Pa. You can watch the video by clicking on the image above.

Senator Toomey is also supporting legislation introduced by Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) to end New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's senseless blockade of interstate pipelines so Pennsylvania natural gas could make it to markets in New York and New England. This blockade has restricted the flow of domestic natural gas from Pennsylvania to New England and forced the region to rely on imported natural gas from hostile nations like Russia.

Background

Toomey Resolution on Natural Gas - S.Res.411

Senator Toomey introduced S.Res.411 on Thursday, November 7th. This resolution reaffirms state primacy over regulating fracking on state and private lands. Specifically, the resolution asserts that the President of the United States does not have the authority to impose a fracking ban on state and private land.

Further, this resolution warns that the president should not attempt to declare a fracking ban on federal land.

Why is this important?

  • Oil production on federal land comprises 24 percent of all U.S. oil production.
  • Natural gas production on federal land comprises 13 percent of all U.S. natural gas production.

 

The chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, Senator Barrasso, is an original co-sponsor.

Toomey Co-sponsorship of Senator Barrasso's Water Quality Certification Improvement Act - S.1087

This legislation would put guardrails on the state water certification process under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has abused this process to block interstate gas projects like Constitution and Northern Access pipelines.

Specifically, the Water Quality Certification Improvement Act would:
• Ensure that state reviews are limited only to water impacts.
• Require states to notify project developers within 90 days whether the developer's application is complete.
• Require states to grant or deny requests within a year of receiving an application.