Fracking in Pennsylvania would create more local jobs and give the commonwealth and the U.S. independence in their energy sources, the Lieutenant Governor Jim Cawley said at a recent gathering of students and business owners in Bristol Township, PhillyBurbs.com reports.

“Pennsylvania has a challenge to continue to be good stewards of Penn’s Woods, but we also have an obligation to the truth, and that we put terms like ‘Rust Belt’ and ‘Brain Drain’ onto the ash heap of history,” said Cawley, as quoted by the news outlet.

Nationwide, people are debating the benefits of fracking and what it will do to the communities where drilling occurs. In an Op-Ed for The New York Times, the president and chief executive of the American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, pushed back against assertions from the New York Democrat, Representative Maurice D. Hinchey, which alleged that without federal oversight, there would be little or no regulation of hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania, Ohio and the other states where gas reserves have been discovered.

Gerard points to the investments in safe shale gas technology, which have not only prevented hydraulic fracturing from contaminating groundwater supplies, but have also revived dozens of communities and created more jobs in “regions long plagued by widespread unemployment.”

He argues that giving states the power to regulate local drilling is a wiser move, as they are more familiar with the geologic and hydrologic conditions. Additionally, the natural gas companies are dedicated to protecting the environment.

“Shale producers have a commitment to the environment and the communities in which they operate,” Gerard concludes. “They’ve adopted numerous industrywide standards to ensure safe and clean operations, as well as programs such as FracFocus.org, a Web site about fracking that lists the components of hydraulic fracturing fluids on a well-by-well basis.”