Poll: New Yorkers still divided on fracking

By Mark Lungariello

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Residents were split over fracking up until the moment the state announced it would ban the form of natural gas mining, according to a Siena College poll released Friday.

The poll, which was concluded before the announcement, also showed that although opposition took hold in pockets of the state, it never gained the same traction in Westchester County and other suburban communities, possibly because the areas were never viewed as potential sites for the industry.

Overall, 35 percent of voters supported allowing fracking while 38 percent opposed it, according to the poll. Residents of suburban regions downstate supported allowing fracking at 40 percent, while 32 percent were opposed. That was in contrast to those polled from the upstate region, who opposed fracking 44 percent to 36 percent. New York City residents polled also opposed fracking by only a slim margin, 35 percent to 32 percent.

In May, a group called Castskill Citizens for Safe Energy sent more than 410,000 anti-fracking brochures to residents of Westchester on the premise that suburban residents were not as well-versed in the potential impacts of allowing the new industry in the state, according to The Akron Beacon Journal.

The fracking issue also split New York voters depending on their party affiliations. Of those polled identifying as Republican, 52 percent supported allowing fracking while those identifying as Democrats opposed the measure 45 percent to 25 percent. Those who classified their political views as liberal opposed allowing fracking by a margin of 56 percent to 19 percent.

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About the author

Mark Lungariello
Mark Lungariello is a former contributing editor to the Westchester and Fairfield business journals. He also wrote features for WAG magazine. Lungariello graduated from Columbia Journalism School and has won New York Press Association awards as an editor, columnist and reporter.

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