Appalachian Basin

Pennsylvania’s Senate Candidates Agree: ‘I Support Fracking’

Pennsylvania’s contentious Senate race has little that the two candidates agree on but in last night’s debate one thing was clear: Both candidates understand the importance of the state’s prolific natural gas development for the economy and the voters they hope to represent that continue to pay rising energy costs.

Pennsylvania – my home state – is a pro-fracking state, and it always has been. The Commonwealth’s voters have been forced to absorb more than a decade of false claims and inflammatory headlines trying to malign this industry.

Both candidates on stage last night — and throughout the campaign — have been jockeying for who supports fracking more. It is yet another indication of how detached the anti-fossil fuel movement is from working families’ concerns.

While neither candidate has always held this position, both clearly and confidently declared, “I support fracking” multiple times on the debate stage.

Current Lt. Gov. John Fetterman ran for state government in 2016 on a campaign calling for a fracking moratorium across Pennsylvania, calling fracking a “stain” on the state – he lost by double digits – and in 2018 said he does “not support fracking, and I never have.” But when asked about his changing position during his campaign for the U.S. Senate, he declared he’s “always supported fracking,” and when pressed, responded:

“I do support fracking, and… I support fracking and I stand and I do support fracking.”

Dr. Mehemet Oz wrote a 2014 op ed calling for a moratorium on fracking in New York while health studies were conducted and in 2015 called for stricter disclosure regulations, but during the course of the debate he called for “unleashing American energy” numerous times and said:

“I’ve been very consistent. Fracking has been demonstrated – it’s a very old technology – to be safe. It is a lifeline for this Commonwealth to be able to build wealth, similar to what they’ve been able to achieve in other states. For that reason, I strongly support fracking, drilling, the piping of that natural gas. In fact, I’d build a facility even in Philadelphia so we could export it to our allies and help them.” (emphasis added)

Bottom Line: Welcome to the club. No matter how you got here, we welcome you. And so does everyone paying too high of gas prices thanks to those who want to shut down American energy production.

Watch the Pennsylvania Senate debate segment on fracking here:

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