Amy Mall, Senior Policy Analyst, Washington, D.C.
A recent Bloomberg National Poll found that 66 percent of Americans want more government oversight of fracking–a big increase over the last three months. Some people completely oppose fracking, but even those who don’t want tough rules and enforcement. Bloomberg quotes a Virginia resident as saying: ““I’m a big proponent of natural gas, but I still need to be sure that we are not damaging our water supply.” Many Americans share this view.
Another poll by ORCInternational for the Civil Society Institute and Environmental Working Group found that 94 percent of Americans want to balance new energy production with protecting clean water and air–including 92 percent of Republicans. And they found that 79 percent of Americans are concerned about fracking “as it relates to water quality” and that 80 percent of Americans think we “should get the facts first about health and environmental risks before the potential damage is done by energy production” — including 67 percent of Republicans.
These polls reflect a great consensus across the political spectrum. Even political conservatives agree that we need to know a lot more about the risks of fracking before expanding fracking without the right rules in place. There is consensus that the oil and gas industry should have to comply with the same environmental laws as other industries, that our clean air and clean water should be protected, and that enforcement should be tough.
American families should not have to trade clean drinking water for dirty energy. There are better solutions.