Rendell on Hydrofracking, Energy Policy

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Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell discusses natural gas, hydrofracking and other energy issues with Susan McGinnis. Rendell says natural gas from the Marcellus shale can be a great resource for his state, but he believes drilling needs to be done safely. Rendell says there have been instances of well water contamination and explosions resulting from fracking. He says if done right it could be an economic windfall for his state, with one study forecasting 100,000 good paying jobs in the industry. He says there has to be a balance of extraction and regulation, and he wants to make sure the balance is right. The governor believes regulation should be done by the states, not the federal government, and he believes Pennsylvania is already doing an adequate job of protecting residents from the negative aspects of hydrofracking. Rendell says his efforts to enact what he calls a "reasonable" tax on shale gas extraction were rebuffed thanks to campaign financing by the major drillers. He says money from the tax would have supported local governments in their efforts to enforce state regulations on hydrofracking. Rendell says Gov.-elect Tom Corbett pledged during the campaign not to enact such a tax. Rendell says Pennsylvania has an abundance of energy resources, but it still spends a lot of money on imported energy to heat homes and run vehicles. He says the situation is similar to that in the rest of the country, and the key, he believes, is to diversify, using both traditional fuels and renewables like wind and solar. He believes the country should use more hydroelectric power, noting that Canada gets 60 percent of its electricity from hydro, while the U.S. gets only a small fraction of that. For transportation fuels, Rendell believes the trend toward electric vehicles is a good thing, but he believes there should be a mix of fuels there as well. He believes more vehicles should be powered by natural gas, biodiesel and cellulosic ethanol. Rendell says it's not practical to take coal out of the nation's fuel ...

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