Blog PostMay 21, 2015

Texas bans fracking bans; paves way for energy, jobs

Right now there are at least 470 local municipalities in the U.S. that have outlawed "fracking," costing jobs and the chance to bolster the nation's energy supply. Texas just changed the game for the better.

Texas lawmakers have just performed a great service to their citizens, job creators and the nation’s energy supply.

Prompted by one town’s ordinance banning the energy extraction method of hydraulic fracturing, known as “fracking,” Texas legislators passed a law to prohibit similar bans throughout the state. The measure will put an end to what one energy industry official told the Wall Street Journal is a “patchwork of local ordinances creating more and more regulation, some of which is intentionally onerous and intended to stop or limit oil and gas development.”

Texas policymakers were also concerned about the impact of local fracking bans on job creation. “Oil is a huge job driver for the state of Texas,” one state lawmaker told the Wall Street Journal. And he’s right. According to the Institute for 21st Century Energy, increasing access to undeveloped regions could create nearly 700,000 jobs in the next 15 years, and 3.5 million jobs created or supported over the next 20-plus years.

Right now there are at least 470 local municipalities around the country that have outlawed fracking, based on quality of life issues such as noise and work site safety. Many also cite health concerns, however hydraulic fracturing has been declared safe by every relevant state and federal agency, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.

New York, for example, has a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing during a “health review” that could reportedly take years to complete. This means New Yorkers is missing out the big economic opportunities being enjoyed by  neighboring Pennsylvania, which is allowed to tap into the Marcellus Shale formation it shares with the Empire State.

As a result, the state line separating Pennsylvania and New York also separates economic boom and bust. To see the personal impact on both sides of these dueling fracking policies, please watch our video, “Borderland: One Energy Boom, Two States.