Research: Shale Energy Turning Voters into Republicans

This one is downright fascinating for political junkies like MDN editor Jim Willis. For years now Jim has been saying that in very broad brush strokes Republicans (i.e. conservatives) typically support shale drilling and Democrats (i.e. liberals) typically oppose it. Yes, that’s very broad and there are certainly notable exceptions. But we’re talking on average, that’s how it sorts out, that has been our observation in closely watching this issue for years. And now we have objective, scientific research to back it up. A new research paper has just been published by three researchers, one from Bocconi University (in Italy), one from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, and one from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College. The paper, titled “Voter Preferences and Political Change: Evidence From the Political Economy of Shale Booms” (full copy below) documents where there is shale drilling, voters have shifted their votes away from Democrats and to Republicans, and that the voting behavior of elected officials in shale regions has become more conservative that it was previously. Cool! We always suspected as much–now we have proof…

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