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 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,
The Democratic leaders of New York and Maryland have banned fracking, responding to the concerns of environmentalists, who say fracking can pollute groundwater and the air.
Kate DeAngelis, the head climate and energy campaigner at Friends of the Earth, said the increasing evidence of environmental harm from fracking is spurring residents and local political leaders to rise up against the practice.