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Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

Amy Harder, author of Generate
Nov 9, 2020 - Energy & Environment
Column / Harder Line

Climate change had mixed showing in 2020 elections

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Climate change got more attention this election cycle than ever, but the (political) science is mixed on whether it helped or hurt candidates who ran on it.

Driving the news: Joe Biden campaigned on the topic more than any other presidential nominee, which climate activists say is a victory. But his wins in battleground states may have come in spite of it, not because of it, political observers say.

Dave Lawler, author of World
1 hour ago - World

Americans increasingly see China as an enemy

One in three Americans, and a majority of Republicans, now view China as an enemy of the United States, according to a new survey from Pew Research Center.

By the numbers: Just 9% of Americans consider China a "partner," while 55% see Beijing as a "competitor" and 34% as an "enemy."

Scoop: Leaked HHS docs spotlight Biden's child migrant dilemma

A group of undocumented immigrants walk toward a Customs and Border Patrol station after being apprehended. Photo: Sergio Flores/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Fresh internal documents from the Department of Health and Human Services show how quickly the number of child migrants crossing the border is overwhelming the administration's stretched resources.

Driving the news: In the week ending March 1, the Border Patrol referred to HHS custody an average of 321 children per day, according to documents obtained by Axios. That's up from a weekly average of 203 in late January and early February — and just 47 per day during the first week of January.

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