With growing public awareness of the health, climate, and geological impacts of fracking, more than half of Americans now oppose the drilling method, according to a new Gallup poll out Wednesday.
Once hailed as a technological breakthrough that would ensure American energy independence, the survey found 51 percent of people now oppose “fracking” as a means of increasing the production of natural gas and oil in the U.S.
What’s more, opposition to the practice has grown by over ten percent in the past year alone, a fact that Gallup partly attributes to growing media attention and the rise of fracking-induced earthquakes throughout Midwest.
Wenonah Hauter, executive director, Food & Water Action Fund, said that the findings come as “no surprise.”
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“The many inherent dangers associated with the extreme drilling method—from water contamination and human health impacts to earthquakes, explosions and climate change—are well documented,” Hauter said. “Even with the oil and gas industry spending untold sums of money trying to convince Americans that fracking is safe, the disturbing truth resonates. As today’s poll clearly indicates, the more people hear about fracking, the more they oppose it.”
Hauter says that President Barack Obama and presidential candidates should “catch up with the will of the people.” Indeed, only Sen. Bernie Sanders has said he would ban the practice if elected. Hillary Clinton—who, according to a 2014 investigation by Mother Jones, “sold fracking to the world” while serving as Secretary of State—said she opposes fracking, but would not go so far as to call for a ban.
And while all of the remaining Republican candidates have voiced support for fracking, Gallup notes that Republicans voters “had the biggest drop in support for fracking, falling from 66% support in 2015 to 55% this year.”
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