An anti-fracking bill crafted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) aims to end the practice altogether, making it illegal “on all onshore and offshore land in the United States” by Jan. 1, 2025.
Left-wing actor Mark Ruffalo teased the bill last week, allowing Sanders to jokingly knock him for “ruining the surprise” of the new fracking legislation.
“I don’t mind if @MarkRuffalo spoils his own movies. But please, don’t ruin the surprise of our new legislation with Rep. @AOC, @SenJeffMerkley and @RepDarrenSoto,” Sanders wrote with an accompanying clip of the Avengers actor evidently “spoiling” the upcoming legislation:
I don't want the dirty fracking industry CEOs to know what hit them. pic.twitter.com/OBbQnpOHsy
— Bernie Sanders (@SenSanders) January 30, 2020
The bill, according to the Hill, aims to end fracking altogether, revoking permits for “wells where fracking takes place and that are within 2,500 feet of a home, school or other ‘inhabited structure'” beginning February 1, 2021. It would also “immediately prevent federal agencies from issuing federal permits for expanded fracking, new fracking, new pipelines, new natural gas or oil export terminals and other gas and oil infrastructure.”
It would make the practice, which Ocasio-Cortez has identified as the “leading contributor to our climate emergency,” illegal by January 1, 2025.
“Fracking is a danger to our water supply. It’s a danger to the air we breathe, it has resulted in more earthquakes, and it’s highly explosive,” Sanders said in a statement, according to the Hill. To top it all off, it’s contributing to climate change.”
“If we are serious about clean air and drinking water, if we are serious about combating climate change, the only safe and sane way to move forward is to ban fracking nationwide,” he continued.
Critics of Sanders have defended the practice, warning that its elimination would “spike household energy costs and hurt farmers and manufacturers.”
American Petroleum Institute spokeswoman Bethany Aronhalt told the Hill:
Banning a safe, successful method of developing energy would erase a generation of American energy progress and in the process destroy millions of U.S. jobs, spike household energy costs and hurt farmers and manufacturers.
“Thanks to fracking, the United States is the global leader in reducing carbon emissions,” Rep. Paul Gosar (R-AZ) tweeted in response to the announcement:
Thanks to fracking, the United States is the global leader in reducing carbon emissions. https://t.co/JbQZbzFvxX
— Rep. Paul Gosar, DDS (@RepGosar) February 3, 2020
Sanders has long maintained the need for the elimination of fracking, promising to ban it during his presidential bid in 2016.
“If I win, we are going to ban fracking all across this country,” Sanders said at the time.
That call has carried over to his current presidential campaign as well. In September, Sanders called on his colleagues to support a ban.
“Any proposal to avert the climate crisis must include a full fracking ban on public and private lands,” Sanders stated, dismissing “safe fracking” as “pure fiction”:
— Anthony Adragna (@AnthonyAdragna) September 4, 2019
Similarly, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has vowed to ban fracking “everywhere”:
On my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that puts a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases for drilling offshore and on public lands. And I will ban fracking—everywhere.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) September 6, 2019