A Green Future for Pennsylvania; In Too Many Ways.

Background

With the world finally waking up to the dangers of Climate Change a new industry has arisen in PA determined to remove the coal state stigma and offer the state a greener future. Natural Gas, a relatively clean, much more efficient, and green energy source has been discovered in western Pennsylvania. Named the Marcellus Shale this natural gas deposit can contain as much as “500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas”. A massive deposit that is about to awaken the drums of industry and stir rural and dilapidated towns across Pennsylvania.This massive find has brought dozens of natural gas companies to the remote areas in the Appalachian basin, but with the new money and employment come major drawbacks that have voters uneasy.

The Gas Companies Swoop In

In 2003, Range Resources successfully drilled a well in Washington County which launched the small player into the position of the third largest natural gas driller in the United States that kicked off the race to “claim” the region. Today there are now over 74 major players carving out sections of land and drilling their way to fortunes. The influx of interest has made some locals very rich, however others have seen nothing but devastation since they invited the companies in. Either way the fact that the industry needs political clout and approval to operate makes this issue perhaps the most decisive issue in the state for the election of the Governor.

Money, Politicians and Voters

There is no arena  in the state where this issue is talked about more then in the governor’s race. The issue has become such a major political focus of both campaigns that it seems like this single issue could make or break the two candidates campaigns. As of now the Democrat Candidate, Dan Onorato favors instituting a tax on the companies to help reduce PA’s projected billion dollar deficit. His opponent, Tom Corbett has not been so active in pronoucning an immediete tax. In addition Onorato is insistent that the industry needs to be relegated and controlled and the evidence seems to support him.

Corbett on the other hand feels that the industry should the right to regulate itself, this seems to be a tactic that even the most loyal republicans might oppose him on, based on the industries public fiasco’s and disasters so far.

The major thing to remember in this debate is that there is a strong money trail to both candidates that could very well influence their decisions  and make this a non-issue that the gas industries have already won. Dan Onorato has taken almost $300 thousand dollars from the industry, however is more approachable opponent has taken almost $1 million total in direct and indirect funds from that industry.

PA in the News

For those of you wondering the particular importance of this election, check out this article written by a notable UK magazine on the race between Sestak and Toomey: http://www.economist.com/node/17316581?story_id=17316581

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  • About Us

    Pennforge is a group of college kids excited to follow the 2010 elections of Pennsylvania. We hope to highlight the candidates, the issues, and any race drama that may come up. Thanks for following!
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