Former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis clashed over fracking during the second Republican primary debate. Haley accused DeSantis of being against American energy independence, citing his opposition to fracking as governor. However, DeSantis has since expressed support for fracking in states where it is allowed. He clarified that he had banned offshore drilling in Florida and opposes fracking in the state due to its geological makeup and potential risks. DeSantis emphasized his support for increased drilling in west Texas to lower gas prices and promote national security. Haley falsely claimed that DeSantis banned fracking in Florida before residents voted on the issue, when in reality, the vote occurred prior to his term as governor.
Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, has been praised for boosting oil and gas production in the United States but is accompanied by negative environmental impacts such as groundwater contamination, air pollution, and methane leaks. DeSantis, while serving in the U.S. House, voted for a bill that allowed each state to determine its fracking regulations. Contrary to his campaign promise, he has not passed legislation to ban fracking in Florida. DeSantis clarified that while Florida prohibits offshore drilling, he does not believe this should apply to other states like Louisiana and Texas. He has expressed his belief that states should have the freedom to choose whether to engage in hydraulic fracturing.
In summary, Haley and DeSantis clashed over fracking during the Republican primary debate. Haley criticized DeSantis for opposing fracking, while DeSantis clarified that he banned offshore drilling in Florida and is ultimately supportive of fracking in states that allow it. The debate also touched on the environmental impacts of fracking and DeSantis’s past voting record on the issue. However, DeSantis has not followed through on his pledge to ban fracking in Florida, citing the state’s constitutional amendment against offshore drilling as the reason.