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Election Irony: Obama May Win Second Term Thanks to Fracking Boom He Doesn't Support, Author Says


Sen. Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally at Lansing, Michigan August 4, 2008. (Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)A

President Barack Obama may not think fracking is good for America but the controversial drilling technique may ironically be the best thing for his re-election prospects.

Ohio and Pennsylvania -- two key swing states in the election -- are currently experiencing localized economic gains from fracking, an economic improvement that may help Obama get reelected despite his continued push for additional regulation and clashes with fossil fuel energy producers, according to a new short documentary "The Dinosaur Election" by journalist Phelim McAleer.

“Incumbent Presidents always do well when people feel optimistic, and at the moment—thanks to fracking and fossil fuels left by decaying dinosaurs—there is much to be optimistic about in Pennsylvania and Ohio,” said McAleer, who released the documentary first to TheBlaze.

“This isn’t a ‘donkey’ or ‘elephant’ election. It’s a ‘dinosaur’ election,” McAleer said in press release to TheBlaze.

Winning in Midwestern swing states--particularly Ohio and Pennsylvania -- will likely be key to election victory. Like the rest of the country, both states have suffered economically over the last four years with the unemployment rate at 7 percent and 8.2 percent, respectively, in comparison to the national average of 7.8. There has been hope, though, in the region thanks to a localized economic boom in the energy sector due in part to the use of hydraulic fracturing-- aka fracking-- to extract oil and natural gas from previously inaccessible shale rock.

Fracking frees oil and gas by injecting a mixture of water and chemicals deep into the earth, creating pressure that fractures shale rock formations trapping those resources. Critics argue that the chemicals used in fracking could contaminate groundwater.

A recent report form IHS Global Insight indicates that drilling for oil and natural gas in shale rock is supporting 1.7 million U.S. jobs this year. Fracking has led to the turnaround of previously economically depressed places like North Dakota. One of the biggest shale rock deposits in the world covers the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Substantial shale rock deposits on the Rust Belt. (Image/The Dinosaur Election)

While the Obama campaign points out that under this president, domestic oil production is at an eight-year high, critics say Obama has engaged in backdoor attacks on fracking through the Transportation Department and has supported EPA studies that some argue are intended to demonize fossil fuels and provide political justification for sweeping new federal regulations.

“It’s no secret that President Obama and his administration don’t like the fossil fuel industry and would rather support renewables such as solar panels and windmills,” McAleer said. “But they may owe their survival and second term to a boom they don’t like and don’t support.”

McAleer and Ann McElhinney are creators of the feature documentary "FrackNation," and the 2009 documentary challenging Al Gore's  An Inconvenient Truth: "Not Evil Just Wrong."

The Dinosaur Election features professors, community leaders, and Republican and Democrat analysts who emphasize just how important Ohio and Pennsylvania are for President Obama, and how fracking mini-booms in those states amidst a national recession may swing the election in an unexpected way.

Watch the short documentary released first to TheBlaze below:

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