Appalachian Basin

Anti-Fracking Candidates Lose By Double Digits in Pennsylvania Primary

Earlier this week Reuters highlighted the importance of yesterday’s Democratic primary in Pennsylvania, explaining it would “will be a mini-referendum on the future of the state’s fracking industry.” Well, Democratic voters turned out Tuesday and showed by double digit margins that anti-fracking candidates were not who they wanted representing them.

In the Pennsylvania state senate race, both former U.S. Congressman Joe Sestak and small-town mayor John Fetterman had previously came out in favor of a fracking ban or moratorium, while former Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Director Katie McGinty, has maintained the Marcellus can be developed safely with regulation. McGinty beat out Sestak by a 10-point margin and Fetterman by a 22-point margin with 32 percent of the vote Tuesday.

Similarly, in the presidential race, Secretary Hillary Clinton, who has noted the climate benefits of oil and gas development, won over blatantly anti-fracking Senator Bernie Sanders by a 12-point margin taking 55 percent of the vote.

And it’s not only in Pennsylvania where this trend has occurred in the 2016 primary races. In neighboring Ohio, where the Utica Shale recently helped the state to produce enough energy to fuel every household through new natural gas-fired power plants, the state’s primaries showed similar results. Secretary Clinton again took the presidential nomination, but perhaps more importantly, in two key Democrat primaries, one in northeast Ohio, and another in southeast Ohio, where candidates attempted to run “ban-fracking” campaigns each ban-fracking candidate lost by double digits.

Interestingly just as anti-fracking Democrats were being overwhelmingly defeated at the polls, activists filed a petition to have a moratorium on fracking placed on the Democratic Party’s platform. Considering what just happened, that doesn’t exactly sound like a winning platform!

The Reuters article mentioned above also explained,

“The outcome of the presidential and senate primaries in a state that now the second biggest natural gas producer in America after Texas may reveal how residents of heavily drilled areas feel about an industry suffering from a decline in oil and gas prices.”

Well the votes are in: Pennsylvanians understand the enormous benefits of fracking and overwhelmingly support it.


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