Political obstacles to oil and gas production are starting to fall away at the state and local levels as voters, elected officials and courts jump on the energy boom bandwagon that may turn the USA into the world's top energy producer.
Voters are rewarding local politicians who support production. Ballot measures are distributing potential tax windfalls broadly. And most state legislatures are focused on managing the economic and environmental consequences of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, so the drilling boom can speed up rather than slow down.
The trend is crucial to the nation's energy future because oil and gas production is regulated and taxed almost entirely by state and local governments. The federal government's role is largely advisory, except on federal lands and on pipelines.
Environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, oppose fracking and warn that fracking could harm drinking water and release toxic pollution in air and water.
Friday, November 23, 2012
USATODAY - Fracking gains public support
Amazing what an industry that creates well paying jobs will do to people.