The controversy over hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in the production of shale gas was a key issue in a congressional race in upstate New York. Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), a vocal critic of fracking who is seeking his 10th two-year term, was leading George Phillips, a Republican from Broome County, NY, who supports shale development and state regulation of fracking, by 90,412 to 82,292, or 52.4% to 47.5% on election night, but Phillips refused to concede as of Friday, the Daily Freeman reported. Phillips said he was awaiting the outcome of 12,600 absentee votes that remain to be counted. Fracking was an issue in House races in Pennsylvania and in Texas, but the race in New York was “the most contentious one,” said Phillips spokesman Jazz Shaw. Fracking, which is used to stimulate many shale wells, is a process in which fluids are injected at high pressure into underground rock formations to fracture the rock and increase the flow of fossil fuels. “The public made [fracking] an issue” in the congressional race, Shaw said.

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