The average American family will spend $5,000 on natural gas this year, up from $2,800 last year. That’s why in the closely watched U.S. Senate election in Pennsylvania, both candidates’ positions on fracking, an advanced drilling technique that allows energy companies to access more oil and gas underground, are generating a lot of buzz.
Earlier this week during the only debate of the race, Republican Mehmet Oz and Democrat John Fetterman both endorsed fracking, which has created thousands of jobs and made the United States one of the largest energy producers in the world. Fetterman had previously said he was against fracking, citing his concerns over its environmental impact.
Although renewable sources like wind and solar have grown exponentially in recent years, fossil fuels still account for 80% of the energy used around the globe. Natural gas — which emits about half the carbon emissions of coal — is considered the cleanest form of fossil fuels.
But it’s getting harder for America to access and transport natural gas. That’s why Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) is currently working to pass legislation that would overhaul federal permitting law. This bill would help American businesses speed up the construction of both traditional energy infrastructure like pipelines as well as infrastructure that’s essential for clean energy sources, like transmission lines to carry wind and solar energy over long distances to homes and businesses across the country.