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Donald Trump says voters have the right to ban fracking

Donald Trump

(NaturalNews) It may not be what his more conservative supporters want to hear, especially now that gasoline is much more affordable again, and Texas shale oil has reportedly "fought Saudi Arabia to a standstill," but Donald Trump made a good point when he said recently that it should be up to local voters to decide if they want to ban the oil-and-gas extraction procedure known as "fracking" (short for hydraulic fracturing).

"Well, I'm in favor of fracking, but voters should have a big say in it. Some areas maybe they don't want to have fracking. And I think if the voters are voting for it, that's up to them," Trump said in an interview with reporters last week while at a campaign stop in Colorado.

"Fracking is something that we need. Fracking is something that's here whether we like it or not, but if a municipality or a state wants to ban fracking, I can understand that," the billionaire real estate mogul added.

Trump has often been criticized for what many have called his lack of constitutional depth and knowledge, but on this issue he gets it exactly right: It is the ultimate act of federalism to combine a central government with regional (state) governments into a singular political system. What's ironic, though, is that those who oppose him on his stance – that locals ought to decide – had no problem deciding for themselves that they should disregard federal laws against recreational pot use in a state that now allows it.

Trump is at least honest with everyone about how he feels; Clinton is only honest with those who pay her

As reported by The Daily Caller, pro-energy groups and backers of fracking don't want the issue to go to voters, because they believe that most of the state's residents would oppose the procedure, even though fracking operations in places like Pennsylvania, Texas, North Dakota and New Mexico are providing state and local governments with a raft of new revenue.

What's more, energy groups are critical of municipalities in Colorado who have put the issue up for a popular vote – a decision that actually runs afoul of a recent court ruling that prohibits cities and local governments from outright fracking bans or otherwise restricting natural gas development.

A pair of Colorado cities – Longmont and Fort Collins – claimed earlier this summer that state law does not explicitly allow fracking, and therefore banning the procedure was not improper or illegal. But pro-fracking energy groups defeated the cities' proposal in the Colorado Supreme Court, which decided that the ban is "preempted by state law and therefore, is invalid and unenforceable." Pro-fracking groups have also said that restrictions or bans are an infringement on private property rights.

Meanwhile, in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed legislation a year ago that made it illegal for localities in the state to ban fracking or any drilling activity that the state has authorized. And Ohio's Supreme Court has also ruled that local governments cannot block fracking operations by banning them if such action is permitted by the state.

That hasn't stopped environmental groups like Food and Water Watch, The Sierra Club, Earthworks and local activist organizations from supporting the local ban and continuing to fight to get it legally established. One of those groups, Coloradans Resisting Extreme Energy Development (CREED), proposed nearly a dozen measures to the state legislature in January to either restrict fracking or ban it altogether.

Jury out, but fresh water is always a valuable commodity

As for Trump, he clearly believes that fracking is viable, safe and productive for the country. At a campaign event earlier this year in North Dakota, he said that he hoped to make "American energy dominance...a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the United States."

For her part, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has said that while she generally backs fracking, she would seek tighter restrictions on the industry – whatever that means – and would honor local fracking bans (though state governments are obviously not on the same page). Then again, this is the same Hillary Clinton who, as secretary of state, backed approval of the Keystone XL pipeline after banks heavily invested in the project paid her husband, former President Bill Clinton, nearly $2 million for speeches in Canada.

Nevertheless, while the jury may still be out on whether or not fracking is harmful to the environment, getting a little fresh water insurance is never a bad idea.






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