A ban on hydraulic fracturing would hit Pennsylvania’s economy hard, according to a study released Thursday by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Researchers predict the state would lose roughly 609,000 jobs and $261 billion in gross domestic product by 2025 if lawmakers were to issue an outright ban on fracking. The average Pennsylvania consumer would see his cost of living increase by $4,654, while household income would decrease by $114 billion by 2025, according to the study.
A number of Democratic presidential candidates, including front-runners Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and U.S Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, say they’d eliminate the process of fracking if elected in 2020. This has alarmed industry and labor leaders, although environmental groups remain firm in their opposition to the practice — arguing it increases the risk of contaminated groundwater, air pollution, gas explosions and man-made earthquakes.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Lehigh Valley, recently introduced a resolution reaffirming that presidents cannot unilaterally ban fracking on state and private land.
Pennsylvania’s gas output has grown substantially in recent years as companies tap into the region’s immense Marcellus and Utica shale reserves. Natural gas is now responsible for roughly 35 percent of Pennsylvania’s power generation.Click here to read more.