A “fracking ban,” as some politicians have supported, would be devastating for America’s economy and reverse positive environmental progress, local and national leaders across the aisle recently confirmed.
“I think to shut down the shale industry, yeah, that would probably not be a good thing for the economy,” Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testified before the Joint Economic Committee Wednesday.
“The energy independence of the United States is something that people have been talking about for 50 years and I never thought it would happen, and here it is,” Powell said. “It’s in the nature of a miracle. It’s a great thing, I would say.”
Thanks to the shale development, in short time, America has transformed from a period of energy scarcity to one of energy strength, abundance and affordability. The Chairman’s remarks this week stand in stark contrast to those of predecessor, Alan Greenspan, who famously said in 2003 the U.S. is “not apt to return to earlier periods of relative abundance and low prices anytime soon.”
Natural gas development in Appalachia delivers meaningful energy savings, supports tens-of-thousands of family-sustaining careers, and is contributing to a regional manufacturing renaissance. Banning the technology that makes America’s shale energy revolution possible, would reverse these gains and result in the loss of 800,000 Pennsylvania and Ohio jobs, according to a U.S. Chamber of Commerce analysis.
U.S. Senator Pat Toomey, in fact, recently introduced a resolution to block a President from banning hydraulic fracturing.
“It would drive up the costs of energy for all of us,” says Senator Toomey. “It would cost many, tens of thousands of jobs in Pennsylvania. It would create big holes in the budgets of state and local governments. It would increase, ultimately, our reliance on foreign sources of energy once again.”
U.S. Senator Bob Casey and U.S. Representative Conor Lamb have also joined the wave of voices in support of safe, responsible American natural gas development.
“The false choice is that you have to choose fracking over good climate policy,” Casey said.
Casey says natural gas is a clean fossil fuel that must be regulated but not banned because it has made the United States “less dependent and which creates, as we know, lots of jobs in Pennsylvania.”
Lamb, who represents the cracker plant in Beaver County, is blunt.
“My advice is that they’re wrong,” Lamb said.
“They are wrong about whether they can do that, first of all. I don’t think the president has the authority to ban fracking. But they’re also wrong about whether that is the right idea,” added Lamb.
“We don’t pick favorites. Energy jobs are middle-class jobs. People are working hard and buying their first house, putting their kids through school, on the jobs that have been provided by natural gas development and by the cracker plant.”
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