- New York City 10/07/2014 by Kate Kiely (NRDC)
A new statewide poll of New Yorkers found that there is widespread concern over the safety of fracking. At the same time, the overwhelming majority support more renewable energy development.
The results come while there is already a de facto moratorium on fracking in New York, in order to give the state time to evaluate the environmental and public health risks the practice poses. Nearly 8 in 10 New Yorkers support the state’s moratorium. While the approach is under attack from the oil and gas industry and its politiical allies, the poll says New Yorkers support this approach.
Support for the fracking moratorium is overwhelming: 79 percent of respondents support New York’s fracking moratorium. Support for the fracking moratorium is bipartisan: 84 percent of Democrats, 74 percent of Independents and 73 percent of Republicans are behind it. Moratorium support extends upstate:77 percent urban upstate residents support it, as do 73 percent of upstate rural residents and 60 percent of residents in the counties most likely to be fracked.
Vast majority of New Yorkers want more clean energy: 92 percent want more solar in the state, and 89 percent want more wind power. Respondents choose renewables over natural gas: When asked to choose, 61 percent indicated support for developing clean, renewableenergy sources over natural gas, while just 25 percent chose gas.
OPPOSITION TO FRACKING
Opposition to fracking outweighs support. 56 percent of New Yorkers oppose fracking in New York, while only 35 percent support it. Opposition holds strong upstate: 54 percent of urban and rural upstate respondents each oppose fracking, compared to 40 and 38 percent who support it, respectively. In the counties most likely to be fracked, 48 percent oppose fracking, compared to 44 percent who support it.
Most New Yorkers think fracking will negatively impact communities:55 percent indicated fracking is generally bad for local communities because of the impacts to water, land and health. Only 27 percent believed it is generally good for local communities because of jobs, tax revenue and economic development. New Yorkers believe job impacts of fracking will be fleeting: 60 percent believe jobs from fracking are likely to be temporary, and only 26 percent believe they will be permanent or that drilling will bring economic revitalization.
“Across party lines—from the city to the country—New Yorkers have made it clear that they want a better future for this state than those that have been ravaged by the oil and gas industry,” said Kate Sinding, Director of the Community Defense Project. “People here know that fracking is a snake oil cure for economic woes, one that comes with steep costs—in the form of water pollution, air contamination, health issues and destroyed communities. Instead, we want to harness clean energy from the sun and the wind to power our homes, create more jobs and revive our economies for years to come.”