Press Release

California Poll: Overwhelming Majority Want Protection from Fracking

More than 75% of Respondents Concerned About Fracking and Lack of Regulations

SAN FRANCISCO (August 20, 2013) – A new poll of key California State Assembly districts found that the overwhelming majority of respondents are concerned about fracking, want protections from threats to their air and water, and believe oil and gas companies should be held to a higher standard of accountability than they currently are, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.

“Californians are paying attention to the impact fracking is already having on communities around the country and don’t want to see a repeat in their own backyards,” said Victoria Rome, California Legislative Director at the NRDC. “Fracking is happening here in California as we speak, presenting an immediate threat that requires urgent attention. Californians are making it clear they want their state representatives to protect their drinking water, health and environment from the risks.”

Fracking is already underway in California, with no regulations in place. The findings come as the California State Assembly considers legislation (SB 4) that would provide Californians with several critical protections against the risks of fracking, and on the heels of several legislative efforts to create a statewide moratorium. NRDC is continuing to fight for further safeguards and call for a moratorium unless and until sufficient protections are in place.

The poll was conducted in the following State Assembly districts: District 30 – Salinas, District 31 – Fresno, District 32 – Bakersfield, District 43 – Silver Lake, and District 58 – Bell Gardens.

Summary of Key Findings in All Five Districts:

  • More than 75 percent of respondents have concerns about fracking.
  • More than 75 percent of respondents have concerns about the lack of regulation in California.
  • More than 65 percent of respondents want their Assembly member to vote to protect communities from threats of fracking to the state’s air and water.

When asked about specific protective measures, strong majorities in all districts indicated support for a requirement for companies to notify the state and nearby property owners before fracking begins. Respondents expressed an even stronger desire to require that companies test groundwater for chemicals before and after fracking to help protect it from pollution, with more than 80 percent in all districts responding in favor.

Respondents also expressed strong support for moratorium, with more than half in three districts (30, 43 and 58) expressing support.

An overview of the findings across all surveyed districts can be found here.

Summary of Results for Each District:

A detailed breakdown of each district’s response can be found here.

Key findings for District 30 – Salinas (Assembly member Luis Alejo)

  • 77 percent of respondents have concerns about fracking.
  • 80 percent of respondents have concerns about the lack of regulation in California.
  • 71 percent of respondents want their Assembly member vote to protect communities from potential threats of fracking to the state’s air and water.
  • 78 percent think companies should be required to notify the state and nearby property owners before fracking begins.
  • 85 percent think companies should be required to test groundwater for chemicals before and after fracking to help protect against pollution.
  • 50 percent would support a moratorium until we have more information about the impacts of fracking and there are state regulations in place.

Key findings for District 31 – Fresno (Assembly member Henry Perea)

  • 76 percent of respondents have concerns about fracking.
  • 78 percent of respondents have concerns about the lack of regulation in California.
  • 67 percent  of respondents want their Assembly member vote to protect communities from potential threats of fracking to the state’s air and water.
  • 74 percent think companies should be required to notify the state and nearby property owners before fracking begins.
  • 80 percent think companies should be required to test groundwater for chemicals before and after fracking to help protect against pollution.
  • 47 percent would support a moratorium until we have more information about the impacts of fracking and there are state regulations in place.

Key findings for District 32 – Bakersfield (Assembly member Rudy Salas)

  • 76 percent of respondents have concerns about fracking.
  • 76 percent of respondents have concerns about the lack of regulation in California.
  • 66 percent of respondents want their Assembly member vote to protect communities from potential threats of fracking to the state’s air and water.
  • 72 percent think companies should be required to notify the state and nearby property owners before fracking begins.
  • 80 percent think companies should be required to test groundwater for chemicals before and after fracking to help protect against pollution.
  • 43 percent would support a moratorium until we have more information about the impacts of fracking and there are state regulations in place.

Key findings for District 43 – Silver Lake (Assembly member Mike Gatto)

  • 77 percent of respondents have concerns about fracking.
  • 80 percent of respondents have concerns about the lack of regulation in California.
  • 70 percent of respondents want their Assembly member vote to protect communities from potential threats of fracking to the state’s air and water.
  • 81 percent think companies should be required to notify the state and nearby property owners before fracking begins.
  • 86 percent think companies should be required to test groundwater for chemicals before and after fracking to help protect against pollution.
  • 52 percent would support a moratorium until we have more information about the impacts of fracking and there are state regulations in place.

Key findings for District 58 – Bell Gardens (Assembly member Cristina Garcia)

  • 82 percent of respondents have concerns about fracking.
  • 85 percent of respondents have concerns about the lack of regulation in California.
  • 74 percent of respondents want their Assembly member vote to protect communities from potential threats of fracking to the state’s air and water.
  • 83 percent think companies should be required to notify the state and nearby property owners before fracking begins.
  • 89 percent think companies should be required to test groundwater for chemicals before and after fracking to help protect against pollution.
  • 55 percent would support a moratorium until we have more information about the impacts of fracking and there are state regulations in place.

The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling in five key California State Assembly districts that are impacted by fracking and key to passing protective fracking legislation. It was conducted among voters from both major political parties and represented different age groups and ethnicities. The polling took place from August 8 through 12, and has a margin of error of +/- 4-4.4 percentage points.

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