Fox News’ Special Report last night featured a segment contrasting the natural gas and jobs boom in Pennsylvania driven by advancements in hydraulic fracturing with the struggling economy in southern New York where the state has instituted a fracking moratorium. Fox Anchor Shannon Bream reports, “The shale natural gas boom has turned things around for parts of Pennsylvania with a reported 8,000 wells drilled so far. But next door in New York, there’s no fracking, and there’s no boom.”
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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett remarked on the tremendous benefits hydraulic fracturing has brought to his state and local families, stating, “The quality of life has tremendously increased, particularly for the people in this region, because they’re able to stay here and have jobs and keep families here.”
Witnesses at a recent Energy and Power Subcommittee hearing compared the growth in Pennsylvania to the declining economy in the southern tier of New York where regulators have failed to welcome the shale revolution. Fred Siegel, Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, testified, “In the southern tier of New York counties, best suited for fracking, employment in the Binghamton metro area of Broome county … has declined for six consecutive years and is now 12 percent below its 2001 level. To the West, employment in the Elmira metro area in Chemung County is also 12 percent below its 2001 level.”
The contrast between Pennsylvania and southern New York provides just one case study in how energy policy can affect economic and employment growth. Yet instead of emulating the policies in states where the energy economy has boomed, the Obama administration is seeking to reverse this progress. Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) noted at the hearing, “It often seems like the administration has it backwards – instead of copying the good state energy ideas and avoiding the bad ones, it is doing precisely the opposite.”
Commenting on last night’s report, Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said, “States that say yes to energy are saying yes to jobs. Over the last decade, we have seen technology take us from energy scarcity to energy abundance and create thousands of jobs across the country, but we have also witnessed missed opportunities where both state and federal regulators have blocked energy development. To fulfill America’s full energy and economic potential, we need commonsense state and national energy policies that embrace our energy resources and allow innovation to continue to thrive.”
Chairman Upton recently unveiled a new pro-growth energy policy vision called the Architecture of Abundance. To learn more about this plan to unleash the benefits of America’s energy abundance and say #Yes2Energy, visit: /yes2energy.