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Increased Fracking? No Thanks, Say More Americans

New poll shows biggest shift towards rejecting hydraulic fracturing in Midwest

A new poll reveals more Americans are opposed to increased fracking than in favor.  (Photo:  Bryan Elder/flickr/cc)

A new Pew Research Center poll has found growing opposition among Americans to increased fracking.

According to the results of the survey conducted last week, more people (47 percent) are opposed to increased fracking than in favor (41percent) of its increased use.

In contrast, Pew's March 2013 poll 48 percent in support compared to 38 percent opposed.

Broken down into demographic groups, the November poll shows women have expressed a marked increase in opposition. Fifty-four percent of women expressed opposition compared to 31 percent in favor of increased fracking. In the March poll, the results were more evenly distributed, with 42 percent of women expressing opposition compared to 41 percent in favor.

Men were more in favor than opposed to an increase in fracking in both the November and March polls.

A partisan breakdown shows vast contrasts.

In both the November and March polls, respondents identified as Republican expressed strong support for an increase in fracking -- 62 percent in November and 66 percent in March. Just 25 percent expressed opposition in the latest poll and 24 percent in the earlier poll.

Democrats were more opposed in both polls. Fifty-two percent expressed opposition in March, and that percentage went up to 59 in November. Thirty-three percent were in favor in March, and the number dropped to 29 last week.

The biggest shift between the two polls came from those in the Midwest. Fifty-five percent of respondents in that region said they were in favor in March, but that number dropped to 39 percent in November.

The new poll comes a month after a "Global Frackdown," slated as an international day of action to stop fracking.

Organizers of that action declared:

Fracking for oil and gas is inherently unsafe and the harms of this industry cannot be fully mitigated by regulation. We reject the multi-million dollar public relations campaign by big oil and gas companies and urge our local, state, and national officials to reject fracking. We stand united as a global movement in calling on governmental officials at all levels to pursue a renewable energy future and not allow fracking or any of the associated infrastructure in our communities or any communities. We are communities fighting fracking, frac sand mining, pipelines, compressor stations, LNG terminals, exports of natural gas, coal seam gas, coal bed methane and more. Fracking is not part of our vision for a clean energy future and should be banned.

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