In Crucial Pennsylvania, Democrats Worry a Fracking Ban Could Sink Them – The New York Times

Date:  Comments: 0 - Permalink

In critical pockets of the country, perhaps none more so than Pennsylvania, the issue of fracking could become vital in the general election, according to union leaders, Democratic politicians and Republican strategists. Potential battleground states where Democrats nurse dreams of winning, like Ohio and Texas, are hotbeds of natural gas — Texas has 137,000 natural gas wells — and Mr. Trump has signaled he hopes for a Republican comeback in New Mexico, another fracking state.

Mr. Trump has made plain that his unabashed advocacy for oil and gas development will be central to his re-election, as he blasts Democrats as “anti-energy zealots.” And Democrats like Mr. Peduto and Mr. Fetterman take him seriously. Fresh for both are the wounds of 2016, when Hillary Clinton was sharply criticized for her line about putting coal miners and companies “out of business” even though, at the time, she also spoke of creating new economic opportunities for coal workers.

In some ways, the fracking ban is indicative of the entire political bet undergirding the candidacies of Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren that the 2020 campaign will not be won by appeals to the narrow interests of traditional swing voters but through the mass mobilization of an energized electorate.

Mr. Trump will demagogue on energy regardless of the Democrats’ positions, they argue; better to inspire young voters and others impassioned to tackle climate change, especially in cities like Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, than to worry about isolated voters in Western Pennsylvania’s fracking country. “Dream big, fight hard,” as Ms. Warren’s slogan goes.

“It goes to the heart of the debate that we’re seeing within the Democratic Party right now, which is the appetite among progressives and the left for an agenda that remains unpalatable to swing voters in the states that determine the Electoral College,” said Amy Walter, national editor of the Cook Political Report.

Ashleigh Deemer, deputy director of PennEnvironment, which supports a ban, is unmoved by the low support for a full ban. “The model is changing,” she said. “Everything we know about how to win a campaign is changing.”

Driving through downtown Monaca, Pa., it is hard to imagine cars backed up past the Shear Utopia hair salon, window repair shops and lonely P-Dub’s Sports Bar and Grille. But State Representative Robert F. Matzie, a Democrat, insists a planned $4 million roundabout will be needed in a few years to deal with the bottleneck coming to State Route 51, “because of the cracker.”

Born and raised in Western Pennsylvania during the decline of the steel industry, Mr. Matzie said he remembered finding fewer students in his class after each summer vacation because their parents got laid off and moved away. Now, handsome new townhomes are being erected with views of the construction site smokestacks.

This content was originally published here.

About admin

Highlighted News:

Sorry, no posts matched the criteria.
Sorry, no posts matched the criteria.
Sorry, no posts matched the criteria.

No Comments

Be the first to start a conversation