Ilya Marritz covers business for WNYC.
The Cuomo Administration's plan to regulate the natural gas-drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, has divided New Yorkers about evenly, according to a new poll from the Siena College Research Institute. The poll also shows most New Yorkers are fearful that fracking could harm the environment.
Fifty-four percent of polled New York state residents told Siena they're more inclined to trust the opponents of fracking, while only a third said they trust fracking supporters.
And people living in upstate New York are just as likely to count themselves as fracking skeptics as people in the city and suburbs. That's a striking finding, since some upstaters have much to gain financially by leasing their natural gas rights. Registered Republicans are evenly split on the question.
Gas companies say fracking can be done safely, but they've been slow to endorse the Cuomo Administration's framework, which would give New York the strictest fracking regulations in the nation.
The poll was conducted on July 6 and 7, and received responses from 813 New York State registered voters.