Energy & Environment

Survey: Some Texas Oil And Gas Producers Fear A Biden Presidency

A UH Hobby School Survey of Texas Oil and Gas Association members found more than three in four respondents saw a Biden victory in November as the biggest potential threat to their companies’ growth

    Former Vice President and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a rally with members of a painters and construction union, Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Henderson, Nev.

Some Texas oil and gas producers are worried that a Biden presidency would make their plight worse amid the oil market crash.

That’s the finding of a new survey of the Texas Oil and Gas Association member companies conducted by the University of Houston’s Hobby School of Public Affairs.

Most of the 48 respondents to the survey — 76% — said they possess either a great deal or a good deal of concern about what a Biden victory would mean to their companies’ economic well-being.  

“The perception by upstream producers is that a Democratic president and maybe a more Democratic Congress could result in increasing regulation on oil extraction and production,” said Pablo Pinto, director of the Hobby School’s Center for Public Policy.

Respondents ranked a Biden victory as a greater threat than either oversupply of oil and gas — 75% — or weak demand for their products — 73%. Pinto said respondents didn’t cite any particular policy of Biden’s that set off such concerns, other than his links to the Obama administration.

Biden is on record as opposing new fracking permits for federal lands or waters, but for allowing existing fracking operations to continue. A Republican super PAC has run an ad falsely claiming that Biden favors a ban on fracking.

Only 11% of respondents ranked a Trump victory as a potential threat to their growth.

Seventy percent of respondents were comparatively optimistic about the prospects for global growth between now and May 2021. Roughly 15% were pessimistic about global growth, while another 15% expected global growth to stay roughly the same.

Virtually all of respondents — 98% — believed that the price of oil per barrel in May 2020 represented the nadir for the industry, and that prices would rise over the coming year.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

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