4 out of 5 Pennsylvanians who are aware of fracking are either "very concerned" (44%) or "somewhat concerned" (37%) about the potential for Pennsylvania drinking water sources to be compromised by fracking by drilling companies.
That's according to a new survey conducted for the Civil Society Institute, a non-profit think tank based in Massachusetts. Founder and Senior Fellow Gail Pressberg says the organization is politically independent but has concerns about the environment as well as the health effects and economic effects of environmental policies. Pressberg says the concerns cut across political party lines.
The survey questioned adults across the country and compared to that to the same poll of Pennsylvanians. Pressberg says more Pennsylvanians are aware of the fracking controversy than other Americans 60% to 45% and that's probably because it's happening "in their own backyards." Pressberg says the awareness is greater among residents of Western Pennsylvania compared to the eastern part of the state.
"What surprised me...despite a seeming growing skepticism of government.....80%...4 out of 5 of those polled in Pennsylvania wanted federal or state officials to become involved in setting up standards (for drilling) in dealing with the impact on clean drinking water."
The Pennsylvania survey indicated of those aware of fracking, 47% of the respondents say state and federal officials are not doing as much as they should and 15% said the officials are not doing anything at all.
The survey shows that 2 out of 3 Pennsylvanians either "strongly support" (37%) or "somewhat support" (30%) imposing a severance tax on natural gas drilling companies. 29% of those questioned oppose such a tax. 51% of Republicans questioned support the tax, 68% of Independents and 81% of Democrats.