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September 30, 2013

Support for hydraulic fracturing in NY dropping according to new polling

The Siena Research Institute has released its most recent polling of New Yorkers taken from September 22-26, 2013. Since the last polling in August, the numbers reveal 37% supporting hydraulic fracturing and 45% opposing it. It was the largest “anti-fracking sentiment ever in a Siena College poll,” — pollster Steven Greenberg said.  It also was the lowest pro-fracking sentiment to date since Siena began including hydraulic fracturing in its polling.

As for Governor Cuomo’s favorability rating has remained steady from last month (65-30 percent), with 64 percent of voters viewing him favorably and 32% unfavorably: three-quarters of voters in New York City view him favorably, two-thirds of downstate suburban voters and just 50 percent of upstaters.

The numbers on hydraulic fracturing are not encouraging and, frankly, unexpected. Recent studies have confirmed the economic benefits of drilling as well as debunked environmental concerns. It is therefore quite surprising to see the numbers jump from 41-42 to 37-45. One explanation may be that 21% of responders claimed to know “nothing at all” about the process and the ongoing environmental review being conducted by the Department of Environmental Conservation; 17% knew “not very much.”

Sadly, this is not likely to help sway New York to embrace hydraulic fracturing and allow the controversial process to move forward after a now more than five year moratorium.

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