Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s campaign for the White House started with a lot of shouting and yelling, including a call to ban fracking in the U.S. But it ended Thursday with a whimper as the Democrat from Massachusetts suspended her presidential campaign.
Some saw it as a bitter blow for the Senator who grew up in Oklahoma and had the support of some prominent Democrats. But in Oklahoma and other oil and gas producing states, her rhetoric about the energy industry was not well accepted.
In December, 2019, she returned to Oklahoma City’s Classen High School where she remembered spending a lot of hours in the gym as she spoke to about 2,200 supporters.
Oklahoma oilman Harold Hamm of Continental Resources tried to reach out to Warren and invite her to meet with him to discuss oil and gas and what it means not only to Oklahoma, but the U.S. and to the world. She declined.
Warren was haunted by her controversial claims to be part Cherokee blood, a claim she later had to disavow and one that led to conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh giving her the moniker “Pocahontas.”
Then there was her vow that if she were elected President, on day one she would ban fracking across the United States.
““On my first day as president, I will sign an executive order that puts a total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases for drilling offshore and on public lands. And I will ban fracking—everywhere,” tweeted Warren back in September 2019.
Environmentalists had encouraged her to join Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders who also advocated a nationwide fracking ban.
Warren loved to call President Trump a dictator, noted one of her critics.
“Yet she is the one wanting to singlehandedly end an entire industry with the stroke of her pen,” argued Daniel Turner, executive director of the pro-industry Power the Future.
She was the next-to-the last woman candidate in the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination. The remaining woman is Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard who managed only to pull 1% or less in this week’s Super Tuesday votes. Sen. Warren’s exit not only leaves her as an “also ran” but narrows the party’s realistic choice between Sen. Bernie Sanders and former vice president Joe Biden.
Whether oil and gas industry leaders ever took her fracking ban idea seriously is another matter. Now they only worry about Bernie and Joe and what they will do to the industry—should they win the White House.