New Yorkers Split on Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling, Survey Finds
New Yorkers are almost evenly split over natural-gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale formation that lies under the state, according to a Quinnipiac University poll.
About 45 percent favor drilling because of economic benefits and 41 percent oppose it because of environmental risks, according to the survey of 1,016 registered voters released today. The survey was conducted from Sept. 13 to 18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute said in a statement. About 13 percent said they didn’t know or didn’t answer.
The strongest opposition to drilling, 47 percent, was in upstate New York, where drilling would take place, according to the Hamden, Connecticut-based institute. An estimated 84 trillion cubic feet of gas lie in the Marcellus Shale under New York and seven other states, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Aug. 23. Extraction requires injecting a mixture of water, sand and chemicals underground, known as hydraulic fracturing.
“Upstate voters, who have the most to gain in terms of jobs and the most to lose in terms of the environment, opposed natural-gas drilling, while suburban voters support it,” Maurice Carroll, director of the institute, said in the statement.
The New York Department of Environmental Conservation said on Sept. 7 it will issue draft rules for high-volume hydraulic fracturing in early October, potentially ending a state moratorium.
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