Appalachian Basin

New Poll Shows Wide Support and Understanding of Fracking

A new poll conducted by the Robert Morris University Polling Institute (RMU) shows significant and continuous support for shale development in the Commonwealth. The poll, which was sponsored by Trib Total Media shows 57.1 percent of Pennsylvanians support shale development through hydraulic fracturing. These poll results come after the oil and gas industry recently celebrated the 10-year anniversary of the first successfully completed Marcellus Shale well.

According to poll results:

  • 57.1 percent of Pennsylvanians support hydraulic fracturing. 55.9 percent of Americans hold the same view.
  • 74.3 percent said fracking has the potential to help the U.S. economy.
  • 69.9 percent said fracking would help move the U.S. to energy independence.
  • 48.2 percent of Pennsylvanians said they would favor fracking in their own hometown. 43.4 percent opposed fracking in their home town.

The poll sampled opinions of 1,003 adults nationwide from May 8 – 16, 2015, and also separately sampled opinions of 529 Pennsylvania residents statewide during the same time period.

Comparatively – a November 2013 RMU poll found that only 42.3 percent of those polled expressed support for fracking when compared to the 55.9 percent this year. According to the poll the increase in support directly correlates to the 70.7 percent of those polled this year who were aware of what the fracking process entailed, which is up from 45.1 percent in 2013.

According to Professor of Engineering at RMU, Tony Kerzmann:

“One of the things we have to realize is that the awareness is mostly industry driven. I think the fracking awareness and the increase in support go hand-in-hand.”

A similar trend can be seen across the border in New York after the results of a June 8th and 9th snap poll by the Rochester Business Journal found that a majority of New Yorkers disagree with the decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in the state. According to poll results:

  • 51 percent disagreed with the decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York
  • 49 percent agreed with the decision to ban hydraulic fracturing in New York

It’s clear that after a decade of shale development in the Commonwealth, residents in Pennsylvania and New York have caught on to the hyperbole pushed by those opposed to development and can see for themselves that fracking is safe and the risks are manageable.

More residents today than ever before are in favor of domestic oil and natural gas production, which has led the United States to become the world’s largest oil and gas producer. Thanks to this increased production our natural gas imports have fallen to levels not seen since 1987. Today, residents across the country have access to family sustaining jobs in the oil and gas industry, major cities are experiencing the cleanest air they’ve had in decades and Americans are paying less for energy – all thanks to increased domestic oil and natural gas production.

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