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This single issue could decide how Western Pennsylvania votes

October 29, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

In Western Pennsylvania, it's not hard to see why the fracking industry is central to the local economy. In parts of Washington County, just 30 miles west of Pittsburgh, the rolling hills are dotted with quaint, rustic farmhouses -- and fracking rigs.

Pittsburgh (CNN)In Western Pennsylvania, it's not hard to see why the fracking industry is central to the local economy.

Sharlo Tkalcevic, who owns T's Locker Room Bar and Grille in Burgettstown, said the pandemic has already hurt the economy -- and slowed fracking projects -- meaning her restaurant has also taken a hit.

Her biggest concern right now, she said, is a one-two punch: the future of fracking and the pandemic.

"If they're not working, then I don't have business," she said.

"The natural gas industry put this area on the map," Emanuel Paris, senior project manager at Alex E.

"Our company went from approximately 250 employees to 400, to about 650 within years," he said.

The company, and others in the area, would not exist without the fracking industry, he said.

"Multiple businesses started opening, new people were coming in," Paris said.

In the last year, the fracking industry started shedding jobs because of the overproduction of natural gas, which started bringing down prices.

And right now, I think that (Trump and Biden are) campaigning in this area so hard, because there's so many jobs and so many families that are affected by the decisions that are made, whether we go forward with fracking, or whether we ban it. "

"President Trump has a clearer perspective on keeping fracking going with minimal regulations," Paris said.

Roule said he thinks a lot of the back and forth between the President and Biden is just political theater in order to get elected.

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