Fracking Debate Divides Democrats
There doesn’t seem to be any kind of energy that liberals do like.
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The Obama Administration’s quiet embrace of natural gas and fracking has helped widen fissures in the Democratic Party between anti-fracking environmentalists and those in the party’s labor union base who view fracking as a jobs creator.
“For the first time in my memory, you have a real live issue where environmentalists are lined up on one side, and pretty much the entire rest of the Democratic coalition is lined up the other side,” MWR Strategies energy lobbyist Matt McKenna told National Journal.
In states like Pennsylvania where the natural gas industry is booming and creating jobs, Democrats are especially supportive. A Muhlenberg College and University of Michigan survey last fall found that 77% of Pennsylvania Democrats said natural gas is somewhat or very important to the state’s economy. Only 22% said natural gas was not very important or not important at all.
Findings like that have placed Pennsylvania Democratic candidates in an awkward position as they try to straddle the fracking issue.