Most NYers Fear Fracking Will Damage Environment: Poll

A majority of New York state residents are aware of the controversial natural gas drilling technique known as fracking, and though most expect it would create jobs, they also believe it will cause environmental damage, according to a new poll.

The Quinnipiac poll found the greatest support for gas drilling was in suburban areas, and the most opposition in upstate New York, where the drilling is likely to happen.

The poll was conducted September 13 through September 18, and surveyed 1,016 registered voters in the state.

When respondents were asked to weigh the economic benefits against the possible dangers, more people came down in favor of gas drilling: 45 percent in support to 41 percent opposed.

But when pollsters specifically used the word "fracking" and described how water and chemicals would be injected underground, a majority said they expected the environment to be harmed.

A poll by Siena College in July found a majority opposed when the word "hydro-fracking" was used.