Oil execs scold Trump for fracking ban comments

Washington Examiner By JOHN SICILIANO • 10/4/16 6:57 PM

Republican nominee Donald Trump faced a tough crowd of oil executives in Colorado Tuesday over statements he made in the summer about supporting a ban on fracking.

Trump took a bit of a scolding by the executives a day after his top energy adviser, Rep. Kevin Cramer, said Trump does not understand the issue for the industry and he has struggled to get Trump to clarify his position.

"I don't know if he's clarified that or not, but that's where I would encourage him to have some clarification," the Republican lawmaker from the fracking state of North Dakota said in an interview published Monday.

Trump met with a group of oil executives in Colorado to discuss his policy positions, including his comments from July expressing support for local governments banning fracking.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is leading Trump in Colorado by 11 points.

Lynn Peterson, the head of Synergy Resources, told Trump flat out during the meeting that giving municipalities control over fracking would be a threat to the oil and gas industry in the state, according to an NBC News affiliate in Denver.

"My partner and I pretty much left Colorado for that reason," said Scott Stewart with Gilbert-Stewart Operating, Bloomberg reported.

Trump, at least for the public segment of the meeting, did not address the local ban directly, but focused on regulations more broadly.

"If Hillary gets in, she'll put you out of business," Trump said before reporters were ushered out of the meeting to allow for a more open discussion.

Cramer said Monday that he has "not talked to him personally about" the fracking comments. "I've talked to some in his policy shop for more clarification on that issue," he said.

"I think there's constitutional questions ... about whether or not a municipality can ban [fracking]," Cramer said. "Reasonable regulation is one thing, but banning something that violates somebody's opportunity on their own property I think is a bigger problem."