Q Poll: Voters still split on fracking


Stop me if you’ve heard this before — New York voters are pretty much split on hydrofracking, a poll released Thursday found.

Quinnipiac University found 46 percent of state voters oppose drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale. That number is unchanged from March, though support for drilling increased from 39 percent (an all-time low for Quinnipiac) to 42 percent.

And the regional split is fairly consistent with what Quinnipiac has shown in the past. Opposition to drilling is highest in New York City — 47 percent — while the city’s suburbs and upstate are both split.

High-volume fracking, of course, has been on hold in New York since the Department of Environmental Conservation launched an environmental review of the technique in 2008. A final decision awaits a completed health review from Health Commissioner Nirav Shah, which he said — in January — would be completed in “the next few weeks.”

If Gov. Andrew Cuomo is looking to opinion polls for an answer on whether to proceed with hydrofracking, they aren’t doing him any favors. In a recent profile of Cuomo in New York Magazine, here’s how Cuomo laid out his conundrum

“Chris, fracking is a 50-50 political decision—literally 50-50. All the polls: Half support, half oppose. If it’s 50-50, where’s the political decision?,” he says.


“A well may end up being poisoned a year from now—and then what? A child falls into a well casing, or there’s an explosion. I don’t want the liability, frankly, and I don’t have the knowledge. There’s no politics for me one way or the other. It’s literally 50-50. I just want the smart decision. And I want the right decision.”

The Quinnipiac poll of 1,404 voters was conducted between April 9 and 14. It has a margin of error of 2.6 percentage points.


About Author


  1. I have to wonder how many of those who “favor fracking” actually have read and studied enough to know the history and the risks. I know an awful lot of people who are opposed who have read and studied at length.

  2. Sadly, it is a lot easier to believe a nice TV ad with attractive, pleasant people telling you how good and clean and job creating the gas industry is rather than listen to scary information about the harms High Volume Horizontal Fracking can cause, like contamination and excessive use of fresh water supplies, poisoning of the air with greenhouse gas methane and radioactive radon, decimation of land and land value and exacerbation of climate change and corresponding erratic weather patterns. There is also the matter of gas industry overstating life of wells, amount of gas in wells and number and quality of jobs created.

    But once it is realized that the harm is real and the future of NYS is at risk, people tend to see that HVHF is not a good choice for NYS. Or any other state for that matter.

    Please read the subject line of the attached link. Please note although excessive funds are spent to convince the public of the beauty of gas, there is not sign of proof of any of these claims in these commercials.


    Now is the time for renewable, sustainable energy.

  3. To all the anti’s that are going to grab this headline, GIVE IT UP! Fracking is safe, and has been for 70 years. There have even been fracked wells in NY before this defacto ban. What should be news is the governmental confiscation of property rights just like the SAFE Act. The revolution from England was founded on personal freedoms and the rights of people and their property. Tyranny is happening in NY and everyone should be afraid, very afraid.

  4. I would like to know how many people are educated as to the laws favoring the gas/oil industry over our rights as landowners and people in our towns. Once educated to the wonderful laws on the books, one notably called “Compulsory Integration” where you are forced to hand over your land rights to the gas/oil industry so they can pollute around your land, people around the state have a resounding “NO” to fracking once they find out. The other issue is fracking is excempt from the clean air and clean water act. Why? Because for one thing fracking reduces clean air and water to polluted air and water. If the pro frackers think it’s so safe, don’t they ask this question as I do? Why are they exempt from environmental laws? Which means if my property turns into an industrial site, there is no legal recourse. This is America? No folks this is Corpocracy, not Democracy.

  5. Marci- thank you for making it clear that exxon is spending millions to convince people that fracking is a good thing for NY…

    The grassroots movement is building and the opposition numbers are rising, not declining, from the grassroots effort of local and statewide coalitions not multimillion dollar companies.
    The evidence from other states is enough for us to know we don’t want it in our state.

  6. Hugh Kimball on

    Ed High Volume Horizontal Fracking has only been going on for about 15 years and there are news stories from all over the country that it is not safe and not being done safely.

  7. Probably why Cuomo cant make a decision. This is more double speak. Here’s the reality… Under Cuomo NY has experienced the demise of 39,453 NY state businesses last year, Cuomo is raiding $1.75 billion from the reserves of the already over budget State Insurance Fund (SIF). Coumo can not even hold on to his democratic majority which is in the middle of a corruption scandal with “show-me-the-money culture” and “pay-to-play politics” throughout Albany. Cuomo has disenfranchised the Northern and Western part of New York with his SAFE Act.. He can’t make a decision, either way with respect to fracking. New York has the highest taxes in the nation, is the most indebted state, with 33 percent of income dedicated to borrowing. It is ranked as the least “business-friendly” state in the country and if that were not bad enough NY has the distinction of being the least free state in the union and is called the “Nanny State” with politicians legislating what we eat and drink. Municipal governments from Nassau County to Yonkers to Syracuse are teetering. And during Mr. Cuomo’s time in office, unemployment has risen above the national average. 9% of the state’s 2000 population left for another state between 2000 and 2011 — the highest such figure in the nation,” see the study by George Mason’s libertarian-leaning Mercatus Center.