The National Surveys on Energy and Environment Public Opinion on Fracking: Perspectives from Michigan and Pennsylvania
Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), 'Survery Report: Climate Policy Options', May 2013
26 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2013
Date Written: May 2013
This report presents the views of Michigan and Pennsylvania citizens on issues related to the extraction of natural gas through hydraulic fracturing, which is more commonly known as “fracking.” Hydraulic fracturing and new horizontal drilling techniques are creating significant opportunities to expand natural gas production across the United States. The absence of comprehensive federal legislation regarding hydraulic fracturing has placed the regulation of unconventional gas drilling primarily within the purview of state and local governments. This report examines public opinion in Michigan and Pennsylvania on a series of issues concerning the impact of fracking on the economy, environmental protection, and information disclosure. Pennsylvania and Michigan have been selected as the focus of this report because they represent states with varied levels of hydraulic fracturing within their borders. Pennsylvania has emerged as one of the nation’s leaders in terms of the number of hydraulic fracturing sites with extensive drilling occurring in the commonwealth, and also has high levels of public debate and policy development related to this issue. Conversely, fracking has just begun to develop on a large scale within Michigan with corresponding public engagement around the matter in its early stages. These differences present a valuable opportunity to examine where the public in these two states stands on an array of issues related to fracking.
Keywords: energy, environment, climate change, national surveys on energy and environment, CLOSUP, survey, fracking, hydraulic fracturing, Michigan, Pennsylvania
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