Democrats step on shaky political ground with fracking bans

FILE - This Jan. 16, 2015, file photo shows pumpjacks operating at the Kern River Oil Field, in Bakersfield, Calif. Some Democratic presidential hopefuls are calling for fracking bans. It may play well with some of the party’s base, but it could be risky.

DENVER (AP) — Several Democratic presidential candidates are running on a promise to ban fracking — and stepping on unstable political ground as they do so.

An all-out prohibition on the controversial natural gas extraction process — backed by Sens. Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren — has been well received by the liberal and climate-focused voters closely watching the primary. But the proposal also threatens to antagonize unions and voters in areas that depend on oil and gas for jobs.

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