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What If Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?

November 4, 2016
By United States Chamber of Commerce - Institute for 21st Century Energy

Energy Institute Report Finds That U.S. Could Lose Nearly 15 Million Jobs If Hydraulic Fracturing Is Banned

From the accompanying press release:

The fourth installment in the Energy Institute’s Energy Accountability Series details the devastating economic impacts that America could face if the “Keep in in the Ground” movement succeeded in banning hydraulic fracturing for oil and natural gas.

The Energy Accountability Series takes a substantive look at what could happen if energy proposals from candidates and interest groups were actually adopted. The latest report asks the question, “What If Hydraulic Fracturing Was Banned?” 

The answer? By 2022, 14.8 million jobs could be lost, gasoline prices and electricity prices could almost double, and each American family could see their cost of living increase by almost $4,000. 

“It’s easy for politicians and activists to call for an end to hydraulic fracturing—but now we know what the consequences could be,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy. “Without fracking, the U.S. would surrender our status as a global energy superpower. Every American family could face higher prices for the energy they consume and the products and services they buy, and almost 15 million Americans could be out of work. These extreme and irresponsible proposals should not be considered. Ignorance can no longer be an excuse.” 

Additionally, the Energy Institute’s report looks specifically at the economic impacts of a fracking ban on Colorado, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. In all these states, the impact could be severe. 1.6 million Texans could lose their jobs, while Pennsylvania could lose $50 billion a year in state GDP. Colorado could lose 215,000 jobs, and the average Ohio household could see costs rise by $4,000 a year. 

“While on its face, ‘keep it in the ground’ policies are intended to punish the energy industry, in reality they punish the entire economy,” said Harbert. “Bringing back energy scarcity means higher energy prices for everyone. Beyond that, banning fracking would make America much more reliant on foreign sources of energy, weakening our national security.”

Using the IMPLAN model, the report modeled changes to the U.S. economy, including real labor income, energy prices, air transportation costs, and energy extraction jobs. The report also breaks down three types of economic shock—higher residential energy costs, higher business energy costs, and upstream production losses. Seventeen separate economic sectors—many of which have little to do with the oil and gas sector—would experience hardship as a result of higher prices. Among the most vulnerable are retail and wholesale sectors of the economy.

The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.