I’m seeing more and more articles and opinion pieces written on the Democratic agenda for energy going into the 2020 election, with a particular emphasis on their supposed desire severely hamper the oil and gas industry in the US. I normally would blow this stuff off, but I’m seeing it more and more and it has begun to give me some concern. My previous understanding has been that the most that a Democratic presidency (and Senate, if they sweep in November), would do is ban fracking on Federal land. While this would be unfortunate for the industry as a whole (and the royalties revenues of many state governments), I’ve been under the impression that it would be difficult for the US government to regulate drilling and fracking operations on private lands.
However, could a Democrat-controlled US government implement regulations that make drilling prohibitively expensive or unsustainable on private land also? It seems to me that such regulations would send shockwaves through Texas and adversely effect thousands of mineral rights owners in the state.
Perhaps this is something that should be categorized on the Law & Legal section, as it is chiefly a function of what can or cannot be legislated concerning drilling and fracking on private lands. In any case, I would be grateful to hear the thoughts of those wiser than I concerning the perceived viability of drilling on private land in the Permian Basin and beyond, even under a Democratic US government.
EDIT: I should also note: I do not broach this subject in the interest of instigating a debate about who should/should not be in control of the White House and Senate come November. I am simply interested in the thoughts and insights of folks here related to the potential consequences for drilling on private land should a Democratic sweep take place.