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Polls: New York Fracking Ban Has Wide Support

According to a Quinnipiac University Poll, New Yorkers upstate, downstate, Democrat, and Republican, all supported Gov. Andrew Cuomo's decision to ban fracking—only energy companies and some businesses and property owners expressed dismay.
December 24, 2014, 11am PST | Irvin Dawid
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"By a margin of more than two to one, New York voters approve of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in that state, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Monday," writes Joel Himelfarb for Newsmax.

In all, 55 percent of voters favored Cuomo's fracking decision, while 25 percent were opposed. [It] won overwhelming support across the state, with 56 percent of upstate voters supporting it and 30 percent opposed and suburban voters agreeing with Cuomo by a margin of 52 percent to 27 percent. In New York City, 56 percent supported the Cuomo move while 19 percent opposed it. 

Even Republican voters supported it, though by a much lower margin: 42 percent to 40 percent. As for Cuomo's ratings, Himelfarb writes, "Thirty-three percent of voters said they think more favorably of Cuomo because of the fracking ban, while 16 percent said they think less favorably of the governor. Forty-four percent said the decision made no difference."

"It’s a clean sweep, but not a big sweep, for Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s decision to ban fracking in New York State. None of the groups we list is opposed," said Maurice Carroll, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

The only groups that appeared to be opposed to the decision were some businesses and property owners in the state's Southern Tier, and "energy companies with leases to drill in the state, which sits on top of part of the Marcellus Shale, one of the largest gas deposits in the United States", writes Himelfarb.

Heesun Wee, CNBC editor, writes that "(e)nergy companies denied the chance to drill in New York can move rigs to other states. But business owners and landowners, who had hoped to reap royalties from gas production, do not have that option."

However, the governor indicated that he plans to help the struggling Southern Tier, also hurt by a concurrent decision on the placement of a casino, bypassing Binghamton or Tioga Downs for the Finger Lakes region in western New York, reports Joseph Spector of The Journal News (lohud.com).

Earlier, Himelfarb reported on a Congressional Budget Office (CB0) report [PDF] that fracking benefits the economy by increasing the gross domestic product (GDP) as well as raising wages for workers.

Hat tip to Alex Guillén of Politico Morning Energy.

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Published on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 in Newsmax
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