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Kate Sinding’s Blog

Cuomo Should Heed Polls That Consistently Show NY Worried About Fracking

Kate Sinding

Posted March 21, 2013 in Curbing Pollution, Health and the Environment

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Whether in New York or nationwide—poll after poll has been showing that people are worried about fracking. Of course, with the stories we continue to hear about impacts next door in Pennsylvania and around the country, that should come as no surprise.

A new poll out this week from Quinnipiac, shows that voters in New York state oppose fracking by a margin of 46% to 39% – a new low for supporters.

This follows a poll published by Siena College in January that indicated a comparable change in public sentiment, as opposition to fracking in Upstate New York crossed above 50% for the first time (51%), somewhat stronger than the Quinnipiac numbers overall. And a March Siena poll showed that Upstate constituents in particular strongly opposition fracking by a wide margin (49-39%).

These snapshots reveal the New York public’s increasingly cautious attitude toward fracking, especially in those regions that actually have skin in the game. And they suggest that Governor Cuomo could leave himself politically vulnerable to a backlash if the state were to move forward with fracking at this time without further health, environmental and legal reviews.

The findings in New York are in line with what we’re hearing from concerned Americans nationwide. As my colleague Amy Mall noted in a January post, two recent national polls show public demand for both tighter regulations and more conclusive health evaluations of fracking’s impacts. They also reflected a consensus across party lines that fracking should not move forward until further risk assessment occurs.

In short, public opinion—in addition to the opinions of leading scientific, health and environmental experts—suggests the Cuomo administration should not rush ahead on fracking. If it does, and the concerns about impacts to our drinking water supplies become reality, the administration will not want to be standing alone.

Instead, these critical snapshots of both shallow support and a deep opposition suggest there is support for the Governor to take the time to get it right.

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Comments

Louis DeFeo Mar 21 2013 01:02 PM

The governor should be more worried about he adverse environmental impact, the irreversible problems, health risks, and the pollution to ban fracking, not the public backlash of him making the wrong decision. Typical politician.

Kate SindingMar 22 2013 02:23 PM

Thanks for your comment, Louis. We agree that decisions have to be based upon the science, not politics. The point of this blog post was simply to highlight that the majority of New Yorkers support a go-slow approach that takes all the risks you identify properly into consideration before making any decisions on fracking.

DanMar 23 2013 04:37 PM

Has it occurred to you that these polls are generally put in front of anti's and are always lopsided to favor whatever results you are trying to seek. I've been following this issue for 5 years now and although I've been online every day looking for news, I've never ran across a poll. The fact is, the rest of the country has begun to turn around our job markets while NY misses the only opportunity it might ever get to create the jobs needed to support welfare and other state aid that so many anti's gladly take advantage of. Go slow is our motto here unless you are talking about job losses and population decreases. I for one support picking up the speed. Enough is enough at this point. Why did government drag this out 3 years before starting these tests?

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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