A new University of Texas (UT) poll found a sizable jump in the number of Americans who support hydraulic fracturing.
The poll found 43 percent of Americans support fracking, higher than the 42 percent who oppose it. The percentage of Americans who support fracking jumped three points since October, and opposition fell by the same margin in that time.
The poll is a semiannual survey UT conducts in October and March, asking 2,013 American consumers a wide array of questions on energy issues. UT funds the poll through a “variety of sources, including executive education programs and corporate and individual donors” and “donors have no influence on the way the poll is conducted.”
“The more people become familiar with fracking, the more they recognize that it is critical for our economy, our energy security, and the advances we are making in reducing air pollution,” Steve Everley, a spokesman for Texans for Natural Gas and was not involved with the poll, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Sixty percent of Americans believes fracking for natural gas creates jobs, lowers costs, provides energy security, and increases energy efficiency, according to UT. Fifty-eight percent agreed fracking to produce natural gas lowers U.S. carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions.
On the other hand, 40 percent of Americans agreed fracking should be banned on public lands, while 37 percent said the drilling technique should be promoted on federal lands. These numbers have remained constant since October.
“As this poll suggests, Americans are increasingly discovering that anti-fracking claims made by ‘Keep It In the Ground’ activists are scientifically baseless,” Everley said.
Major environmental groups like The Sierra Club and Greenpeace claim fracking can “contaminate drinking water, pollute the air, and cause earthquakes.” Both groups regularly support total bans on fracking for natural gas on both public and private land, pledging to “Keep It In The Ground.”
“Because of these unacceptable risks to our communities, our environment, and our climate, the Sierra Club is opposed to fracking, period,” Michael Brune, the green group’s executive director, wrote on his blog. “[D]espite real progress in reducing climate-disrupting carbon emissions, the United States is still charging ahead with a ‘boom’ in dirty fuels and extraction methods. It’s like swallowing aspirin as you beat your head against a wall.”
The Sierra Club and Greenpeace did not return requests for comment on the poll to TheDCNF. Environmentalist media outlets have cited the same poll in previously to prove political points.
The number one concern of respondents to the poll about fracking was that it could contaminate water, with 32 percent listing this as their top issue with the process.
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