Democrats split on fracking

Greenies may find that their campaign cash is not enough to get the Democratic Party to squash fracking, for its alleged environmental hazards and because they are absolutists on CO2 emissions. But the beneficiaries of fracking include labor unions, another core Democrat constituency. And even worse, where fracking is being used, it is popular. Alex Roarty writes in National Journal:

A survey taken in the fall of last year by Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., and the University of Michigan, shows that most Democrats view the industry as a possible economic lifeline. Asked whether natural gas is important to the state's economy, 77 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats said it was somewhat or very important. Just 22 percent called it not very important or not important at all.

At first glance, Pennsylvania's Democratic gubernatorial primary next year looks like a prime opportunity for the party to swing left on natural gas. Fracking is a major issue in the state's politics. Primaries are driven by the party's base, which is friendly to environmental causes. And many of those voters live in or near Philadelphia, the one region of the state that hasn't benefitted economically from the natural-gas boom. On top of all that, two of the candidates, John Hanger and Katie McGinty, are former heads of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

But operatives connected to many of the campaigns predict that the campaigns won't veer left on natural gas. The politics of opposing fracking are complicated, even within the Democratic Party, they say, because most Democrats believe it brings jobs that are worth the environmental risk. "The flip side to appeasing the environmental lobby is that you open yourself up to getting roasted on killing jobs in Pennsylvania," said one Democrat working one of the campaigns.

As AT readers know well, even if one thinks CO2 emissions are bad, natural gas releases far less of it than the fuels it displaces, especially coal. There is no rational, real world argument against expanding natural gas. The environmental dangers are so minimal that foes have to resort to fraud, as in the flaming water faucet scene in Gasland.

Fracking and related new technologies are a key to American revival, not least because of its economic benefits, but also because energy independence is in sight, and that radically alters the leverage the Muslim world has, particularly the Saudi Wahabbis, with their finding of worldwide radical Islam. Of course, these facts are of less imprtance to the Democrats than their internal factional disputes, and it is on that basis that the Party either will or won't obstruct fracking. Meanwhile, we await the final presidential determination on the Keystone XL pipeline. 

 

Greenies may find that their campaign cash is not enough to get the Democratic Party to squash fracking, for its alleged environmental hazards and because they are absolutists on CO2 emissions. But the beneficiaries of fracking include labor unions, another core Democrat constituency. And even worse, where fracking is being used, it is popular. Alex Roarty writes in National Journal:

A survey taken in the fall of last year by Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa., and the University of Michigan, shows that most Democrats view the industry as a possible economic lifeline. Asked whether natural gas is important to the state's economy, 77 percent of Pennsylvania Democrats said it was somewhat or very important. Just 22 percent called it not very important or not important at all.

At first glance, Pennsylvania's Democratic gubernatorial primary next year looks like a prime opportunity for the party to swing left on natural gas. Fracking is a major issue in the state's politics. Primaries are driven by the party's base, which is friendly to environmental causes. And many of those voters live in or near Philadelphia, the one region of the state that hasn't benefitted economically from the natural-gas boom. On top of all that, two of the candidates, John Hanger and Katie McGinty, are former heads of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.

But operatives connected to many of the campaigns predict that the campaigns won't veer left on natural gas. The politics of opposing fracking are complicated, even within the Democratic Party, they say, because most Democrats believe it brings jobs that are worth the environmental risk. "The flip side to appeasing the environmental lobby is that you open yourself up to getting roasted on killing jobs in Pennsylvania," said one Democrat working one of the campaigns.

As AT readers know well, even if one thinks CO2 emissions are bad, natural gas releases far less of it than the fuels it displaces, especially coal. There is no rational, real world argument against expanding natural gas. The environmental dangers are so minimal that foes have to resort to fraud, as in the flaming water faucet scene in Gasland.

Fracking and related new technologies are a key to American revival, not least because of its economic benefits, but also because energy independence is in sight, and that radically alters the leverage the Muslim world has, particularly the Saudi Wahabbis, with their finding of worldwide radical Islam. Of course, these facts are of less imprtance to the Democrats than their internal factional disputes, and it is on that basis that the Party either will or won't obstruct fracking. Meanwhile, we await the final presidential determination on the Keystone XL pipeline. 

 

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