Fracking debate causes tremors in battleground Pennsylvania

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FILE – This Jan. 16, 2015, file photo shows pumpjacks operating at the Kern River Oil Field, in Bakersfield, Calif. Some Democratic presidential hopefuls are calling for fracking bans. It may play well with some of the party’s base, but it could be risky. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The notion of banning fracking is dividing the Democrats running for president and increasingly dividing Democrats in the presidential battleground state of Pennsylvania.

The divide was clear, again, on Wednesday night’s debate stage in Las Vegas during questioning about climate change. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says moving to energy efficiency and sustainable energy will create up to 20 million new jobs.

Other Democrats on stage preferred to refer to natural gas as a “transition fuel” to non-fossil fuels and talked about getting tough on methane emissions. Pennsylvania’s top Democrats have tried to discourage talk of a fracking ban, while labor leaders point to thousands of building trades members working in the industry.

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