Oct 29, 2020 - Energy & Environment

Why fracking matters in Pennsylvania and Ohio

Data: EIA; Chart: Axios Visuals

Natural gas production has increased significantly over the past five to 10 years in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Why it matters: With all the talk of fracking on the campaign trail, it's worthwhile to illustrate the states' fracking-driven production increase.

How it works: Fracking, short for hydraulic fracturing, is an extraction method whereby a mix of water, sand and chemicals are injected underground to unlock fuel stored in rock formations.

The big picture: Fracking has also unlocked a lot of jobs — and controversy — in these states and others over the last decade as the technology’s use became more widespread across the country. Naturally, the tech then injected itself into politics.

Where it stands: The Trump administration is working on an executive order that would study the economic benefits of fracking, Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette said on Fox Business Tuesday, confirming a Wall Street Journal story from the night before.

What they’re saying: The White House "may intend it as a means of outlining a continuing pro-production trajectory during a second Trump term to multiple 'swing' states," writes an analysis Wednesday from research firm ClearView Energy Partners.

  • Pennsylvania, especially, is critical because its Electoral College votes (20 out of the 270 needed to win the White House) “could potentially determine the election, and messaging on fracking could potentially make a small but crucial difference," ClearView writes.

Yes, but: Pennsylvanians are split about whether or not they even like fracking, polling shows.

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