Trump signs order on fracking while barnstorming in Pennsylvania

By Justin Sink and Josh Wingrove on 11/2/2020

(Bloomberg) --President Donald Trump signed a symbolic memo in support of the fracking sector during a four-rally swing through Pennsylvania, a crucial battleground in Tuesday’s election.

The president issued the memorandum on Saturday, ordering his government to study the effects of “prohibiting, or sharply restricting, the use of hydraulic fracturing and other technologies,” and the national security impact of doing so.

Trump sees full-throated support for fracking as a crucial element in Pennsylvania, where he’s trailing Joe Biden and which would likely clinch the presidency for the Democrat, should he win it.

Biden’s platform is an “economic death sentence for Pennsylvania,” Trump said on Saturday -- repeating an inaccurate claim that Biden plans to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

The Democrat has said will transition away from fossil fuels, and his campaign is pledging ban new oil and gas permits on public lands and waters.

Trump signed his order while flying between his second and third rallies of the day. He immediately touted it on Twitter, and exaggerated its impact.

“Moments ago, I signed an order to protect Pennsylvania fracking and block any effort to undermine energy production in your state,” he said. The memorandum doesn’t block anything and instead orders a series of studies.

The American Petroleum Institute welcomed the action in a statement released shortly after the order was released.

“Both Democrats and Republicans recognize the importance of this innovative technology, which supports millions of jobs across the country,” said API President Mike Sommers.

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