Once again, we have clear evidence that New Yorkers are worried about fracking. A new poll, released today by the Siena College Research Institute, shows that 45% of voters in New York are opposed to fracking, the highest percentage to date. Notably, strong opposition to fracking in upstate New York jumped from 34% to 52%, a sentiment that has been steadily on the rise. And not just in New York, but nationwide.
Fracking is currently on hold in New York so that the state can fully examine the risks before making any decisions about moving forward, and Governor Cuomo has thus far heeded public opinion in letting the science lead policy. As recently reported in the Democrat & Chronicle, his bold yet cautious approach stands in contrast to Illinois and California.
Notwithstanding NRDC’s support for moratoria in California and Illinois, both states have decided to move forward with fracking before critical studies are completed (and, as a result of those decisions, we have worked to put fundamental protections in place). Governor Cuomo, on the other hand, has taken the wiser course, honoring his commitment to not make any hasty decisions until all the facts are in.
As the industry continues to wreak havoc in surrounding states, it is no wonder that New Yorkers are prepared to stand strong against fracking. Until science can provide answers to the environmental and health concerns of fracking, Governor Cuomo should heed the polls and continue to proceed with caution. His strong leadership on this issue should serve as a model for others.