Democrats step on shaky political ground with fracking bans

FILE - This Jan. 16, 2015, file photo shows pumpjacks operating at the Kern River Oil Field, in Bakersfield, Calif. Some Democratic presidential hopefuls are calling for fracking bans. It may play well with some of the party’s base, but it could be risky. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

DENVER — Several Democratic presidential candidates are running on a promise to ban fracking and stepping on unstable political ground as they do so.

Must-win Pennsylvania has gotten an economic boost from fracking, the technique used by the energy industry to extract oil and gas from rock. The procedure is also vital in swing state Colorado and in the Democrats' dream state of Texas, the headquarters of the energy industry.

Fracking has become steadily less popular as worries about the side effects of the energy extraction technique have increased. It's been linked to water contamination, air pollution and even earthquakes.

But it's also helped bring down the cost of natural gas and the use of dirtier-burning coal. Even most environmentalists have proposed regulating it rather than banning it.

Must Read

Tillerson aims to ease Qatar crisis with shuttle...

Jul 10, 2017

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Kuwait to try to resolve a dispute between Qatar and...

Turkish leader wades into Qatar dispute with Gulf...

Jul 24, 2017

Turkey's president has waded into the diplomatic crisis gripping Qatar and four other Arab nations...

AP News Guide: What to know about the Qatar crisis

Dec 4, 2017

What to know about the Qatar diplomatic crisis as Gulf countries prepare for Kuwait summit

Two-day Gulf summit ends within hours amid Qatar...

Dec 5, 2017

Kuwait's emir has quickly ended a troubled summit of the Gulf Cooperation Council amid the ongoing...

EU official urges Britain's May to get creative...

Oct 16, 2018

A top European Union official is imploring British Prime Minister Theresa May to adopt "a new...