Kamala Harris - Gage Skidmore/Flickr.com

VP Candidate Kamala Harris Has a Troubling Relationship with Oil and Gas

This week, the biggest headlines focused on the Biden campaign’s sudden (not-so-shocking) announcement that California Senator Kamala Harris would assume the role of vice president. The former attorney general has breathed fire into the Democratic campaign for the first time in recent memory. It’s been good for the Dems, but those US residents with a vested interest in the energy industry may just be in for a rude awakening.

 If you haven’t paid much attention to Senator Harris’ stance on oil and gas, it’s time to look a little closer.

A Wave of Opposition

Even as her supporters flooded Twitter with praise, key members of the GOP stood up to decry the decision. Colorado Senator Cory Gardner tweeted, “[Kamala Harris] wants to destroy over 230,000 jobs in Colorado.”

Meanwhile, American Energy Alliance president Thomas Pyle proclaimed Harris’ energy policy to be entirely out of step with the needs of the average American. “Now that [Biden’s] VP choice has been made, it is abundantly clear which ticket is looking out for working-class Americans and which ticket would prefer to outsource America’s energy security to China.”

Even the President got in on the warnings. In a speech at the White House, Trump said Harris was unabashedly “against fracking.”

‘I’m in Favor of Banning Fracking’

Putting a day-one ban on fracking has long been a surefire way to rile up a Democratic crowd, but there was little fear that it would actually get done. Joe Biden’s decidedly ambiguous energy plan allows him to swing one way or another once he assumes office. This lack of planning allowed the energy industry to remain somewhat at ease. After all, it seemed clear that Biden’s goal is to take office and then figure out the plan. 

Unlike Biden, Senator Harris makes no bones about her fracking stance. As Senator Gardner’s tweet above reminds us: there is no question, Kamala Harris is against fracking. It’s more than that, however. As Harris told MotherJones, “[For] me this issue of the climate crisis relates to every aspect of what we do.”

She’s proposed to hold energy companies responsible for their so-called wrongdoing by taking them to court. She proudly declared she would start making federal lands off-limits to frackers on day one. 

An Uncertain Future

It remains to be seen whether Kamala Harris will tone down her climate agenda in the wake of stepping onto the ticket, but it’s unlikely. She’s made a career fighting against climate change, and — if elected — she could gain the power to do some significant damage to oil and gas. 

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