Interesting. Former PA Gov. Ed Rendell (“Fast Eddie” as he’s know around here) has penned a huge editorial printed in today’s New York Daily News, a left-leaning newspaper, aimed at one person: NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Eddie’s words of advice to his fellow Democrat? Frack Andy Frack!
Here’s Rendell’s op-ed:
Natural gas has an important role to play in the Northeast region and in our nation’s overall energy future. It’s already creating new opportunities for consumers and businesses and promoting economic growth in a range of sectors — all while reducing environmental impacts.
I know because, as governor of Pennsylvania from 2003 to 2011, I saw this happen up close.
That’s why New York’s consideration of hydraulic fracturing is so essential. We’re at an energy crossroads as a nation. If we choose to embrace natural gas, it will help us get past a number of significant economic and environmental challenges. On the other hand, if we let fear carry the day, we will squander another key moment to move forward together.
Like with any energy resource, extracting and developing natural gas comes with some risk. But when that risk is well managed, natural gas results in great jobs for hardworking Americans, cleaner air, more affordable energy and more efficient use of our domestic energy resources.
Used in power generation, natural gas has half the carbon emissions of coal, and no sulfur dioxide, mercury or particulate matter. In transportation, natural gas produces up to 30% lower carbon emissions than petroleum and no particulate matter or sulfur dioxide.
In other words, we ought to be using more, not less of it.
New York has a healthy band of vocal critics right now who continue to push a false choice: natural gas versus the environment. But as the former Democratic governor of a major natural gas-producing state, I know we can enjoy the benefits of gas production while also protecting the environment.
Pennsylvania put in place strong oversight while allowing development throughout the Marcellus Shale — and the economic benefits were significant.
Thousands of solid jobs with good salaries were created, communities came back to life and investment in the state soared. The steel, lumber, concrete and construction industries, as well as manufacturing purchases and retail spending, all benefited from the ensuing natural gas boom. According to economic research firm IHS, shale gas contributed about $7 billion to Pennsylvania’s gross domestic product. And, the study says, that number will double in 2015.
It is tremendously important that the economic benefits of energy production stay right here in America — that they go to domestic companies, workers and landholders, rather than to places like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, which together account for a sizable percentage of all our imported oil.
Before our eyes, the U.S. is moving toward dramatically more energy independence. New York has the chance to play a major part in that revolution.
Regarding environmental concerns, the way forward is clear. As we have shown in Pennsylvania, we can manage the risks of natural gas drilling. We enacted tough construction and water disposal regulations in 2010 and have had no major problems since then. The gas companies fought these changes initially, but we’ve reached a consensus that strong rules make sense for everyone.
As a Democrat, I understand the worries of those who question natural gas development. I have shared some of their concerns. But I would ask that folks do as I did: Step back and look at the facts. See the bigger picture.
We must push for natural gas development with appropriate oversight and regulation. But most importantly, we must push forward. The benefits, the environment, our citizens and our energy security are just too great to ignore.*
Hey, we’ll take the support from wherever we can get it. Thanks Ed!
*New York Daily News (Mar 27, 2013) – Why Cuomo must seize the moment on hydrofracking