Written by Lindsey Burnworth
Last updated on November 30, 2012 @ 7:49PM
Created on November 30, 2012 @ 7:41PM
We've all heard the pros and cons of hydraulic fracking.
Some groups say it's harmful to our drinking water, and it pollutes the air.
Others said it's a way to increase energy production.
But now, the industry may get a big boost.
That's because trends suggest voters are supporting local politicians who favor energy production.
Local and state officials said this is already going on here in the state.
They said it shouldn't worry people because more legislation is in place to regulate the environmental and economic consequences of fracking.
Most local and state governments are so focused on regulating the practice because it can translate to a boom in the economy.
In fact, it's so crucial to the nation's energy future because oil and gas production is almost completely taxed by the state and local governments.
Economists warn that the effects should be looked at in the long term, not just the here and now.
That's because if government's don't, we could suffer from a "boom and bust" effect.
"The biggest thing is that we take the high road when it comes to economic development. Let's have a race to the top, who can do the best job fracking, who can benefit the most from it, who can ensure that Wetzel County, Marshal County, Harrison County, the Elkins area, does better 15 years from now than they do when the boom is actually happening, how can we turn this into long term prosperity," said Ted Boettner, Executive Director of the W.Va. Center on Budget and Policy.
Many also suggest safety precautions are more strict now, making the practice more acceptable.
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