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Shale Gas Powers the Country

SHALE GAS POWERS THE COUNTRY Produced in more than 30 states, America's newest energy source cuts across the economic and political landscape. Independent analyst Rhodes Cook examines some bellwether races. WISCONSIN: U.S. SENATE MICHIGAN: PRESIDENT Wisconsin has elected progressives from Robert La Follette to Russ Feingold, and conservatives from Joe McCarthy to Scott Walker. A stark choice awaits fall voters. Fomer GOP Gov. Tommy Thompson will take on Madison's Democratic Rep. Tammy Baldwin, the first openly lesbian candidate elected to Congress. For clues to the fall outcome, look to Brown County, which includes Green Bay. It backed Obama in 2008, then swung behind Walker in 2010 and in June 2012. Since 1992, Michigan's 16 electoral votes have been exclu- sively Democratic – by 3 points (John Kery in 2004) to 16 (for Obama in 2008). Motown's two major suburban counties, Oakland and Macomb, will be critical. Oakland includes Bloomfield Hills, where Romney was raised. Blue-collar Macomb is known for "Reagan Democrats." Both counties backed Obama in 2008. Shale effect: Michigan shale deposits, and the low price Shale effect: Increased drilling nationwide has spiked demand for a key ingredient: fine-grained sand quarried in Wisconsin – sparking an environment vs. jobs debate. of natural gas, have boosted manufacturing and dulled some anti-incumbent emotions. MONTANA: U.S. SENATE While Democratic presidential victories in Big Sky country have been rare, over the past 65 years, Democrats have won 18 of 21 Senate contests -a higher success rate than reliably "blue" states such as New York and Califormia. Democrat Jon Tester, elected in 2006 by less than 1 point, faces GOP Rep. Denny Rehberg, known statewide because of his at-large seat. The race could be decided in Yellowstone County (Billings), the state's most populous county. Tester narrowly lost it six years ago but could find the going tougher this time. The NEW HAMPSHIRE: 2ND DISTRICT The congressional career of Republican Rep. Charles Bass has tracked the fate of House Republicans as a whole. He initially won this seat in 1994, the year the GOP took over Congress's lower chamber for the first time in 40 years. He was defeated in 2006, when Democrats won a majority, and he took back his seat in 2010 when the GOP regained House control. In nearly two decades, Bass has yet to gain 60% of the vote. This year he faces a rematch with Democrat Ann Mdl ane Kuster, county is Rehberg's home base. Shale effect: Bakken shale – which straddles North Dakota and Montana – has increased employment and brought in new workers (and voters) in numbers that could be significant in a state with such a small population. who lost to Bass by less than 2 points in 2010. Shale effect: The state relies on natural gas for home heating, so the price decline helps consumers. But neither candidate has yet made this an issue. COLORADO: PRESIDENT OHIO: PRESIDENT Colorado supported Barack Obama in 2008 but has not voted Democrat- ic in back-to-back presidential elections since the 1930s. However, the state is changing. Population grew 17% in the last decade, and Hispan- ics surpass 20% of the total. Party registration is roughly equal among Republicans, Democrats and independents. To see who might win Colorado's nine electoral votes, look at Denver's two most populous suburban counties, Arapahoe and Jeffer- son. Four years ago, Obama swept them en route to a 9-point victory in Colorado – the first time since 1964 a Democratic presidential candi- Ohio has been a reliable bellwether – supporting the winner in all but two presidential elections since 1900 –it also regularly comes close to tracking the national numbers. In 2008, Barack Obama won nationally by 7 points; he carried Ohio by 5 points. Looking for an Ohio harbinger? Focus on Stark County, which includes Canton. In 2008, like the state as a whole, the county backed Obama by 5 points. Shale effect: Ohio unemployment is below the national average and has fallen every month for a year- thanks partly to the shale boom –which may boost Obama's date had carried even one of these counties. 44 Shale effect: Total employment has increased -a boost for the incumbent - and the state is replacing aging coal plants with cleaner, Colorado-produced natural gas. reelection chances. PENNSYLVANIA: 12TH DISTRICT FLORIDA: U.S. SENATE The land of the hanging chad – with 29 electoral votes - is the nation's most prominent swing state. The matchup between Democratic incumbent Sen. Bill Nelson and Republi- can Rep. Connie Mack is likely to be decided in the populous Interstate 4 corridor cutting diagonally across central Florida, anchored by Orange and Pinellas counties, both hit hard by home foreclosures and unemployment. Hurt economically by the loss of heavy industry, this district is largely white, ethnic, patriotic and working class. The 12th was the only district in the country to vote for Democrat John Kerry in 2004, then switch to Republican John McCain in 2008. Redistricting has enhanced GOP prospects since then. This fall's House race tests the survival skills of Democratic Rep. Mark Critz. He has won three tough races LEGEND For a complete list of sources, see already -a special and general election in 2010, and a Democratic primary this year that pitted him against fellow Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire – without surpassing 53% of the vote. Critz will face Republican Keith Rothfus, who lost to Altmire by less than 2 points in 2010. I New Gas Processing and Fractionator Plants Shale Gas Basins • Public LNG/CNG Filling Stations Frac Sand Production Planned Public LNG/CNG Shale effect: Florida generates more than 50% of its electrici- ty from natural gas. Average prices for natural gas delivered to Florida's electricity generators fell 44.5% between 2008 and 2011– providing voters with some of their best I New Petrochemical & Other Plants Filling Stations New Major Gas-Fired Power Plants a Planned LNG Export Terminals Many LNG/CNG Filling Stations are locat- ed along U.S. Interstate Highways Shale effect: Development of huge natural gas reserves has intro- duced blue-collar jobs to the next generation and cut statewide unemployment below the national average. economic news.

Shale Gas Powers the Country

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A graphic created for the American Clean Skies Foundation that teaches about how shale gas influences the nation


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