The Republican spent a year lobbying for the Marcellus Shale Coalition. While he and the trade organization ended their one-year, $900,000 agreement in August 2011, Ridge remains a major booster of natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania. His support for hydraulic fracturing and shale extraction was summarized in a speech he delivered during the MSC’s September 2011 conference in Philadelphia: “When gas is taken from the ground by hydraulic fracturing, it provides the least environmental distribution of any current base load fuel,” he said. “And when it is used, it has only half the carbon emissions of coal, and virtually zero particulate emissions.”
Ridge argues an increased reliance on domestic gas drilling will lessen the United States’ dependence on foreign oil. He’s also a big supporter of natural gas drilling’s economic benefits.
Ridge talked shale drilling on the Colbert Report in June 2011.