Pennsylvania

Energy. Environment. Economy.

Expect a Fracking Focus, if Pataki Enters Presidential Campaign

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Former New York Governor George Pataki

Former New York Governor George Pataki is mulling a presidential run, and could make an announcement within the next week, according to anonymous sources who dropped hints to multiple New York news outlets this morning.

If the three-term governor throws his hat in the ring, expect Pataki to spend a lot of time discussing hydraulic fracturing. Last month, the Republican told AOL Energy natural gas drilling should play a major role in the country’s future.

“I think fracking is a tremendous technological breakthrough that we need to encourage obviously you have to surround it with appropriate environmental safeguards,” Pataki said, addressing one of the most controversial issues in energy markets today. Access to hundreds of years of clean fuel supply is “an enormous breakthrough for the American economy and the American consumer,” he said.

Fracking policy should be addressed at the state level, Pataki said, where local factors and cost-benefit analyses can be taken into account. He cited a recent New York state decision to limit natural gas drilling in the New York City watershed and said it was an “appropriate” decision for the state government to make given the local cost and benefit analysis. “States are and should be the laboratories of democracy,” he said.

Pataki would be the second frack-focused candidate in the race. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum regularly touts the state’s energy boom as an example of how to grow the country’s job market.

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