Friday, August 12, 2011

New Yorkers Are Smarter Than Environmentalist's Give Them Credit For

The environmentalist, big green noise machine have had the speakers turned up to eleven for the past year. The local media have done their part in parroting the distributed talking points. All at the same time hydraulic fracturing for natural gas will contaminate fresh water aquifers, pollute rivers, streams, lakes and ponds, worsen global warming, I mean climate change. Subject us all to radiation poisoning, despoil our roads and local economy and for good measure, kill our children.
Attempting to find any objective objective data on the subject proved elusive and required some significant research. Interestingly though, finding this information has proven easier than locating the studies supporting the contentions of the anti-fracking brigade.
With this in mind I was astounded by the results of a Quinnipiac poll that found a plurality of voters support drilling for natural gas in upstate New York by a 47-42 percent margin.
According to a new Quinnipiac poll, 47 percent of voters surveyed are in favor of natural gas drilling, while 42 percent are opposed. The poll found that people like the potential economic benefits of drilling more than they fear the possible environmental concerns, with 75 percent saying they believe fracking would bring more jobs to the state.
The vice president at Norse Energy Company and representative of the Independent Oil and Gas Association, says that the growing support shows that New Yorkers are becoming more educated about the entire process.
"I think they're becoming better informed not only on the economic benefits, but first and foremost on the safety of the operation," Dennis Holbrook said.
As remarkable as this result may be it is trumped by the breakdown. Predictably republicans favored drilling by a 67-20 percent margin and democrats oppose hydraulic fracturing, 52-35 percent. What jumps out at me is the NY City, upstate divide.
The Quinnipiac University survey found state voters back the drilling, 47-42 percent, with majority support in both the suburbs, 52-35 percent, and upstate, 51-39 percent.
City voters, however, oppose drilling, 50-38 percent, the poll found
Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised by this. I have argued previously that the vocal opposition to shale gas that has descended on local town and zoning board meetings is made up primarily of downstate transplants who don't want to see their idyllic, pastoral vision sullied by any "dirty" industry. Let me make a suggestion. I you don't want to see gas drilling in your backyard, perhaps it is time to get a new backyard.

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