Poll: New Yorkers mostly oppose fracking

A narrow margin of voters support keeping the state's moratorium on fracking

Published March 11, 2013 1:10PM (EDT)

A new Siena poll out Monday finds that a slight majority of New Yorkers oppose lifting a ban on fracking in the state, as Gov. Andrew Cuomo prepares to make a decision about whether to allow the controversial process for drilling for natural gas.

By a margin of 43-39 percent, voters in the state oppose allowing the moratorium on fracking to be lifted, up slightly from last month when the same poll found that 40 percent opposed it, while 40 percent also supported it.

"It is opposed by a plurality of Democrats, independents, New York City voters, and a near majority of upstaters. It’s supported by a strong majority of Republicans and a plurality of downstate suburban voters,” said Steven Greenberg of the Siena Research Institute.

Last week, the New York Assembly approved extending the ban on fracking for two more years. Cuomo says he is waiting to make a decision until the Health Department finishes a study on the practice, which involves pumping shale rock with chemicals until it splits open and natural gas can be extracted.

By Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Andrew Cuomo Fracking Natural Gas New York Polling