Governor-elect Tom Wolf won’t be following the lead of fellow Democrat Andrew Cuomo, who on Wednesday banned the practice of fracking in New York state.
Cuomo’s camp cited health and environmental concerns in deciding on a ban, but those issues won’t deter drilling in Pennsylvania, which like New York sits atop vast deposits of natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.
When asked by PoliticsPA if he supports the actions of Gov. Cuomo, Wolf’s camp was clear.
“Governor-elect Wolf opposes a ban, and he will work hard to make sure the process is safe,” responded Jeffrey Sheridan, Press Secretary for Wolf’s transition team.
“Pennsylvania’s natural resources should help the commonwealth become an energy leader, including renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as a magnet for investment and job creation,” he continued. “Governor-elect Wolf’s priority is to ensure that Pennsylvania is an energy leader with all Pennsylvanians sharing in the prosperity.”
PennLive, however, says a new report shows that Pennsylvania has seen some ill effects from the fracking industry.
Communities with the highest intensity of natural gas drilling have seen increased rate of crime, motor vehicle fatalities and even sexually transmitted diseases. While the influx of energy workers hasn’t significantly increased population figures, it coincided with a surge in rental prices across the Marcellus Shale region.
“Our report aims to give communities where drilling has not occurred . . . an idea of what the potential impacts will be,” said Stephen Herzenberg, executive director of the Keystone Research Center, a labor-backed policy center.
The report was based on interviews and research in communities where fracking has begun in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.