Poll: Majority of people are concerned about "fracking"

The Civil Society Institute has released its poll data and report titled, "'Fracking' and Clean Water: A Survey of Americans" (pdf here). The findings:
  • 57% of Americans had at "least some awareness of fracking as an issue," including 19% “very aware," and 25% as “somewhat aware." Only 13% reported being unaware.
  • 69% are “very concerned” (40%) or “somewhat concerned” (29%) regarding water
    quality issues. Only 15% answered that they are “not very concerned” while 16% reported being “not concerned at all” (16%).
  • Between the political parties, Democrats reported the highest concern at 86%. Independents reported concern at 74% while Republicans, though least concerned, still answered with a majority at 57%. Interestingly, this is a bipartisan concern.
  • "Nearly three out of four Americans (73%) very/somewhat aware of fracking wouldbe 'very concerned' (58%) or 'somewhat concerned' (15%) to 'have such an energy project close enough to your home that there was even a small chance that it could have an impact on your drinking water.' A majority of Republicans (56%), Independents (86%) and Democrats (91%) would be concerned to 'have such a project near their home.'"
  • 69% of Americans say that they would involve themselves in a "community project to raise concerns about a fracking project" "if one was“proposed close enough to your home that there might be an impact on the quality of [their] drinking water.”
At the end of the report, they report a very interesting tie between energy and environmental concerns:
  • Americans have a hard time choosing between climate change (6%) and protecting our drinking water (18%) as the most urgent concern today. Most (66%) believe both are of equal concern.
Regarding drinking water, the Civil Society provides some commentary on their webiste:
Pam Solo, founder and president, Civil Society Institute, said: "Clean energy production is strongly favored by Americans over energy sources that create a danger to human health and safe drinking water in particular. Fracking is a perfect illustration of the fact that Americans don't think of an energy source as 'cheap' or 'clean' if there is a hidden price in terms of safe drinking water and human health. The message from our new survey is clear: Americans of all political persuasions prefer to see clean energy development that protects water supplies over traditional fossil fuel production that endangers safe drinking water and human health."

Commenting on the survey, Anthony Ingraffea, PhD, P.E., Dwight C. Baum professor of engineering, Cornell University, said: "The results of this survey indicates that the public has been educated and sensitized to the issues arising from tradeoffs among energy production, the environment, and health. Americans now understand that, especially with the allure of gas production from unconventional gas plays, even 'getting it right' from a technical and regulatory point of view might still be wrong in terms of clean drinking water. The public is increasingly ready to commit to change in its energy use patterns, invest in its children's energy futures, and is no longer willing to accept the notion that a corporate business plan is the same as a national strategic energy plan."
Does this mean anything for you and your community's decisions regarding energy use, climate change, water quality and natural environmental quality?

What is the balance between a national strategic energy plan, a corporate business plan, and a community's and ecosystem's well-being?

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