As the Presidential Election grows near, President Obama may be “centering” himself for a second term, as he is now suddenly in favor of fracking in New York State. Is this a political move to strengthen his support in “swing states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio?”
By Jerry Zremski of Buffalo News: NEWS WASHINGTON BUREAU CHIEF WASHINGTON — “We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly a hundred years,” Obama said in a speech in Las Vegas. “Developing it could power our cars, our homes and our factories in a cleaner and cheaper way. And experts believe it could support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.”
Obama administration officials acknowledged that the power of the federal government to promote fracking was limited compared with that of the states, which primarily regulate natural gas drilling.
But they said the president wanted to lead by example by promoting the safe use of hydraulic fracturing on public lands.
“We believe — and we have a good track record of this on our public lands — that fracking can be done safely and in an environmentally sound manner and be an important part of our energy future,” said a senior Obama administration official, who asked not to be identified by name.
The president’s comments came as excellent news to the gas industry in New York State, which has struggled to promote fracking amid growing environmental concerns in the state and in neighboring Pennsylvania.
“His messages must be heard and considered in New York as the state moves toward allowing safe natural gas development in the Southern Tier,” said Brad Gill, president of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York State.
But Sarah Eckel, legislative and policy director for Citizens Campaign for the Environment, said Obama’s support for fracking wasn’t consistent with what his own administration has had to say on the issue. Just last month, the Environmental Protection Agency said for the first time that fracking can lead to groundwater pollution.
“It’s surprising he is so enthusiastic about a technology that’s not as wonderful as it seems,” Eckel said.
In his speech in Las Vegas, Obama acknowledged the environmental concerns prompted by the nation’s fracking boom — and said he shared them. He said that’s why he is requiring that companies that do fracking on public lands disclose the chemicals they are using.
“America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk,” he said. “But we’ve got to keep at it. Think about what could happen if we do.”
Envisioning an America where more vehicles run on domestic natural gas than foreign oil, where a natural gas boom creates “a generation of new energy jobs” and where affordable natural gas makes American manufacturers more competitive, he said: “We can do this.” read more here
Above is highlighted in red for obvious reasons… Would you vote for Obama knowing he just pulled a 180? Are we going to have more fracking no matter who is elected? Or can hydraulic fracking be safe like our President is hoping? What about full chemical disclosure- they don’t even have that for common household cleaning products. I’m really looking forward to your thoughts.