RALEIGH (July 15, 2013) – North Carolinians overwhelmingly oppose fracking, want more clean energy and think state environmental standards should be strengthened or left alone, according to a poll by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).
“From the mountains to the beaches, it’s clear that North Carolinians take special pride in their state, and see state environmental safeguards as protecting our heritage and ensuring that our children can enjoy this place we know and love,” said NRDC senior attorney Luis Martinez, who is based in Asheville.
Among the key findings:
*More than 75 percent of North Carolinians say current environmental standards and regulatory safeguards in the state are “about right” or “too weak.” Only 13 percent say they think state regulations are too strong.
*61 percent of North Carolinians say state environmental standards and regulatory safeguards do more good than harm for the state.
*55 percent of North Carolinians statewide oppose proposals that would open the state up to fracking – a procedure by which oil and gas companies inject massive amounts of water and chemicals into the ground to fracture rock formations and extract natural gas.
-In the Triangle, 59 percent of respondents oppose fracking
-In the Charlotte metro area, 53 percent oppose fracking
-In the Triad, 48 percent oppose fracking
-In easternmost and westernmost NC, 55 percent oppose fracking
*The vast majority of respondents say the state should do more to support and develop clean, renewable energy from solar, wind and other sources.
*About 56 percent of respondents oppose attempts by some lawmakers to eliminate the state’s clean energy standard, which gives utilities until 2021 to get at least 12 percent of their energy from clean, renewable sources.
When asked about various sources of renewable energy:
-68 percent view solar energy very favorably
-56 percent view wind energy favorably
-50 percent favor offshore wind energy
When it comes to rating their lawmakers, 44 percent of respondents say they disapprove of the job the state legislature is doing, while 40 percent approve. Others did not express an opinion.
Gov. McCrory’s approval ratings were higher. About 47 percent of respondents said they approved of the job the governor is doing, while 33 percent disapproved. Others did not express an opinion.
The telephone poll, conducted June 25-30 by Gerstein, Bocian, Agne Strategies, has a statewide margin of error of +/- 4 percentage points.