Fracking Debate Goes On

Dec 2, 2013

A recent Quinnipiac Poll shows New Yorkers are opposed to hydraulic fracturing, as arguments for and against the controversial gas drilling practice continue.

The poll found New York state voters continue to be divided on whether to drill for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale.  44 percent of the respondents support drilling, citing economic benefits. But 46 percent oppose drilling because of environmental concerns. 47 percent of upstate voters oppose fracking while 44 percent say "go ahead" with drilling.  The numbers are more lopsided downstate: New York City voters are opposed 51-38 percent and suburban voters support drilling 52-39 percent.

In the poll, 39 percent of voters perceive Governor Andrew Cuomo as dragging his feet to avoid making a decision on fracking, as a de facto moratorium continues, while 21 percent say he is carefully considering the matter, with 38 percent undecided.

John Armstrong is a spokesperson for Frack Action and New Yorkers Against Fracking. "...we take the Governor at his word. What he said is that he is looking at the science, looking at the health concerns, looking at the different impacts of fracking. And we hold him to that."

Ken Pokalsky, vice president of government affairs at The Business Council of New York State, believes hydrofracking would benefit New York's Southern Tier, the region often talked about as being most lucrative for drillers and residents alike.

A long-awaited health impact study into fracking has yet to be released.

Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,337 New York State voters from November 20-24,  with a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percentage points. Live interviewers called land lines and cell phones.