Opposition to natural-gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale is growing in New York as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration weighs whether to allow shale-gas drilling in the state, a new poll released Wednesday found.
The Quinnipiac University survey found 46 percent of New York voters oppose shale-gas drilling, compared to 39 percent in favor. It’s the first time the poll has found a clear margin opposed to the hydraulic fracturing process since it began surveying the issue in 2011.
Upstate is still split, however, with 44 percent in favor and 42 percent opposed, while 56 percent of New York City voters say they’re opposed. The gas-rich Marcellus Shale formation runs across upstate’s Southern Tier.
“New Yorkers might be getting impatient with the long delay over natural gas drilling,” Quinnipiac pollster Maurice Carroll said in a statement. “They’re turning negative on the basic idea and more of them see foot-dragging by Gov. Andrew Cuomo rather than a careful evaluation.”
Poll after poll over the past two years has shown a near-even split on fracking across the state. A Marist College poll late last month showed 40 percent opposed and 39 percent in favor. Siena College, which put together the most extensive fracking survey to date, found an even split when they looked at the issue in February.
Also in Wednesday’s poll: Voters continue to show overwhelming support for increasing the minimum wage, with 80 percent in favor of a wage hike.
Support for Las Vegas-style casinos in New York is also relatively high, with 52 percent in favor of allowing them in the state and 38 percent against. But when asked if they favor changing the state Constitution to allow for the change — a necessary step — the support and opposition are split at 46 percent, Quinnipiac found.
Here’s the full poll: