Executive Briefings

Hydraulic Fracturing Causes Another Split Between Conservative and Liberal State

Fracking is creating a new dividing line between the nation's red and blue states.

While liberal-leaning states such as New York and Maryland have opted to ban hydraulic fracturing, despite the potential revenue from natural gas, conservative strongholds such as Texas and Oklahoma have gone the opposite route, moving to ensure that local towns and cities cannot outlaw the practice in their communities.

Observers say a state's approach to fracking is increasingly falling along partisan lines, with the affiliation of a state's legislature and governor often reflected in whether the practice is welcome or shunned.

"Where we have legislative or executive preemption efforts, we have tended to see what would be expected, which is that the more liberal states tend to be more concerned about the environmental and social effects of fracking, whereas the more conservative states tend to welcome the money," said Hannah Wiseman, a Florida State University professor who researches environmental regulation.

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While liberal-leaning states such as New York and Maryland have opted to ban hydraulic fracturing, despite the potential revenue from natural gas, conservative strongholds such as Texas and Oklahoma have gone the opposite route, moving to ensure that local towns and cities cannot outlaw the practice in their communities.

Observers say a state's approach to fracking is increasingly falling along partisan lines, with the affiliation of a state's legislature and governor often reflected in whether the practice is welcome or shunned.

"Where we have legislative or executive preemption efforts, we have tended to see what would be expected, which is that the more liberal states tend to be more concerned about the environmental and social effects of fracking, whereas the more conservative states tend to welcome the money," said Hannah Wiseman, a Florida State University professor who researches environmental regulation.

Read Full Article