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Is Trump Flip-Flopping On Fracking?

Donald Trump’s latest remarks that local communities should be able to ban fracking have raised eyebrows in the oil industry, straying from the Republican energy strategy and pitching oil groups against the Republican presidential nominee.

In an interview with a Colorado television station on Friday, Trump said “I’m in favor of fracking,” but added “I think that voters should have a big say in it”.

These comments have baffled representatives in the oil industry, who have not been overly enthusiastic in supporting Trump up until now.

Yet, many in the oil and gas industry still believe that Trump is a better candidate than Hillary Clinton. The American Energy Alliance pro-drilling group, for example, has endorsed Trump for president.

Now, some observers say, Trump has expressed views on fracking that are similar to those of Clinton.

Back in March, Clinton said during a Democratic presidential debate that she would not back fracking in municipalities and states that do not support it. However, a ban on fracking has not been included in the Democratic Party’s platform.

Swing states such as Colorado, Ohio and Pennsylvania have benefited in recent years from the hydraulic fracturing industry. Environmentalists and local administrations have been fighting against fracking, but state courts have overturned town and city rulings. Courts in Ohio and Colorado overturned local fracking bans earlier this year and last year, saying the municipality bans were in conflict with state laws.

Now we’ll have to see if Trump has anything -- more aligned with the Republican view -- to add to his stance on fracking and how the industry will further interpret his views.

And we’ll see if Trump is really considering appointing Continental Resources CEO Harold Hamm to take over the Department of Energy, should he win the November ballot. If Hamm were to be appointed, it would be the first time in U.S. history a president has directly plucked a manager from the oil and gas industry to sit as energy secretary.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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