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NYers frack & forth: poll

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Folks, this is not going to happen without some effort on our part. The antis are bombarding Albany, and perhaps with some effect. When was the last time you communicated your position to the DEC and governor? JLCpulse

 

By ERIK KRISS Bureau Chief   NY Post   Last Updated: 2:13 AM, August 22, 2012  Posted: 12:18 AM, August 22, 2012


ALBANY — New Yorkers are fractured down the middle when it comes to fracking, a new poll has found.

A Siena College survey released yesterday found that 39 percent of voters support allowing hydro-fracking to move forward in the state, and 38 percent oppose it.

But while New Yorkers are split on the controversial method for extracting natural gas, a growing number of town and village officials are urging the state to say, “Frack yeah!”

More than 40 municipalities — most of them in the gas-rich parts of upstate’s Marcellus Shale, where drilling is most likely to occur — have passed local resolutions supporting a statewide natural-gas development plan.

Gov. Cuomo
AP
Gov. Cuomo

And backers contend many of the municipalities that have voted to ban high-volume hydraulic fracturing, such as Albany, are nowhere near the gas — and as urban and populated suburban areas, would never see drilling anyway.

Meanwhile, insiders said yesterday they’ve heard that the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which has been expected to decide on fracking around the end of summer, may put off the decision as anti-frackers plan to pressure Gov. Cuomo with a rally planned outside his clean-energy policy summit at Manhattan’s Sheraton Hotel today.

“I do sense the administration is getting pounded on the issue and they’re making sure the DEC is getting all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted, and that may take a little longer than expected,” said one source close to the issue — who added that a delay wouldn’t necessarily be counterproductive.

“We don’t need loose ends. We need this to be permitted and everything to be tight.”

Cuomo administration officials said no decisions have been made on the practice of fracturing shale with a high-pressure mix of sand, water and chemicals to capture trapped gas.

But Cuomo is widely expected to approve a plan to allow limited drilling in the Southern Tier — five counties bordering the northern edge of shale-rich Pennsylvania — with industry insiders expecting the green light for 50 to 100 wells in the first year.

The Siena poll of 671 likely voters found fracking opposition from Democrats, women, liberals, union members, young voters and upstaters.

But the powerful GOP state senator who represents the heart of the Southern Tier insists there’s strong support in his district.

“I know for a fact that the five-county region here in the Southern Tier is very strongly in favor of moving forward with environmentally safe drilling,” said Thomas Libous of Binghamton.

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