A Clear Majority of Ohioans Support Utica Shale Development
A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that by a substantial margin Ohio voters believe the economic benefits of oil and natural gas development outweigh any perceived environmental concerns associated with the activity. Specifically, the poll found a substantial 63 – 30 percent majority indicating strong support for continued safe and responsible natural gas development in the Buckeye State.
This strong support is understandable when reviewing Ohio’s most recent chapter in oil and natural gas development. Ohio has already seen significant economic benefits – like the creation of 38,000 jobs – from Utica Shale development with only 80 producing wells. At the same time, since Utica Shale development began just two years ago over 200 wells have been drilled without a single environmental violation among the operators developing Ohio’s Utica Shale wells.
The poll specifically asked Ohio registered voters the following question:
Some people say there should be drilling for natural gas and oil in Ohio because of the potential economic benefits. Others say there should not be drilling for natural gas and oil in Ohio because of the potential environmental impact. Which comes closer to your point of view?
A quick review shows strong support for shale development across the board including support among men, women, Republicans, independents and college educated and non-college educated voters. Also worth noting, support for oil and natural gas development spans all age brackets from 18 all the way to over 55. Clearly, multiple generations of Ohioans recognize the significant benefits that oil and natural gas development is providing our communities and Buckeyes of every socio-economic stripe.
The poll shows that even as more attention is focused on the issue Ohioans understand the need to safely produce the energy that is an integral part of our lives. However, more education is still needed. Making efforts like that of the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program and Energy In Depth important.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Virginia and the nation as a public service and for research.