Exxon, Chevron begin pushing back against Warrens fracing ban

By Kevin Crowley on 11/3/2019

HOUSTON (Bloomberg) - Americas two biggest oil companies are starting to push back against the fracing ban touted by the leading candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination, which may become one of the most consequential flashpoints for energy markets during the election campaign.

Exxon Mobil and Chevron executives spoke out publicly against the proposals for the first time on Friday, saying they would shift profits from crude production from the U.S. to other countries, and may increase prices for consumers while doing nothing to reduce oil demand or greenhouse-gas emissions.

Its a line of attack thats likely to feature heavily in debates in the year ahead as the energy industry and Republicans seek to counter the Democratic Partys green wing. To be sure, whoever gets elected next year will find it difficult to end fracing. Presidential powers to enact a ban only extend to federal lands, something that would be certain to face immediate legal challenges. A wider restriction would need to go through Congress.

Any efforts to ban fracing or restrict supply will not remove demand for the resource, Neil Hansen, Exxons vice president of investor relations, said on a conference call with analysts. If anything it will shift the economic benefit away from the U.S. to another country, and a potentially impact the price of that commodity here and globally.

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