The fracking backlash will hurt Democrats (yes, Democrats)

  @FortuneMagazine December 5, 2013: 6:59 AM ET
EAS23 anti fracking

Could a rising political backlash over fracking portend big headaches for Hillary Clinton and her likely 2016 presidential bid? Environmentalists are traditional allies of the Democrats. But Clinton and other party leaders who support hydraulic fracturing of shale rock -- and the energy boom it has produced -- are now in the green movement's cross hairs.

When Clinton gave a speech in October lauding the nation's oil and gas boom, she was condemned by New Yorkers Against Fracking for her "backward, 20th-century belief" that fossil fuel extraction is good for America. In Colorado, Democratic governor John Hickenlooper supports fracking but has tried to contain a growing local backlash with robust regulation of natural-gas drilling. His reward: Voters in four towns rebelled this fall, passing bans or moratoriums. Colorado is now in the awkward position of suing a fifth town, Longmont, which passed the state's first ban last year, in order to protect the state's legal authority. Its litigation partner: the oil and gas industry.

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