Poll: Fracking Still Deeply Unpopular in Western NC Districts

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A majority of voters in House Districts 116 (Rep. Tim Moffitt) and 118 (Rep. Michele Presnell) oppose fracking, and are less likely to vote for a candidate who supports it

Fracking is still deeply unpopular in Western North Carolina, according to a Progress North Carolina Action poll of voters in House Districts 116 and 118. A majority of voters in both districts said they oppose hydraulic fracturing, and would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports it.

The poll found that 66% of voters oppose fracking in House District 118, home of Rep. Michele Presnell, and 54% oppose fracking in District 116, home of Rep. Tim Moffitt. Both lawmakers voted to fast-track fracking earlier this year by lifting a moratorium on fracking before proper regulations are in place.

"Tim Moffitt and Michelle Presnell have been unapologetic supporters of fast-track fracking and of the oil and gas industry," said Gerrick Brenner, Executive Director of Progress North Carolina Action. "This poll shows they are working in clear opposition to what a majority of their voters want for a strong economy, sustainable energy, and clean air and water."

Other findings of the poll include:

  • 59% of voters in District 116 and 64% in District 118 oppose legislation which fast-tracked fracking, made it a crime to disclose chemicals used in the fracking process, and outlawed local ordinances prohibiting fracking within city limits.
     
  • 58% (HD-116) and 64% (HD-118) of voters would be less likely to support a candidate who voted to fast-track fracking in North Carolina.
     
  • 45% (HD-116) and 47% (HD-118) of voters think North Carolina’s environmental and regulatory standards are too weak.
     
  • 54% (HD-116) and 65% (HD-118) of voters are less likely to support fracking with the knowledge that it would create fewer than 400 jobs in North Carolina over seven years, according to an analysis by the state government.
     
  • 54% (HD-116) and 62% (HD-118) of voters disapprove of the job Pat McCrory is doing as governor. 42% (HD-116) and 53% (HD-118) of voters disapprove of his handling of environmental issues.
     
  • 58% (HD-116) and 65% (HD-118) of voters disapprove of the job Thom Tillis is doing as House Speaker. 44% (HD-116) and 58% (HD-118) of voters disapprove of his handling of environmental issues.

Below is a sampling of questions and answers from the poll, which was conducted by Public Policy Polling on September 9-10. A full report including demographic cross-tabs is available here: House District 116 - Moffitt and House District 118 - Presnell.

Question

District 116 (Moffitt)

District 118 (Presnell)

Do you support or oppose fracking in North Carolina?

Support: 38%

Oppose: 54%

Not sure: 8%

Support: 28%

Oppose: 66%

Not sure: 6%

Earlier this year, the General Assembly voted to fast-track fracking in North Carolina by lifting a moratorium on fracking before rules have been approved by the legislature. The law also makes it a crime to publicly disclose the chemicals used in the fracking process, and outlaws any local ordinances which prohibit fracking within city limits. Do you support or oppose this new law?

Support: 26%

Oppose: 59%

Not sure: 15%

Support: 21%

Oppose: 64%

Not sure: 15%

Generally speaking, are you more or less likely to support a candidate who voted to fast-track fracking in North Carolina?

More Likely: 31%

Less Likely: 58%

No Difference: 11%

More Likely: 28%

Less Likely: 64%

No Difference: 9%

Supporters of fracking say it will help North Carolina’s economy. However, an analysis by the state government estimated that fracking would create fewer than 400 jobs in North Carolina over seven years. Does this knowledge make you more or less likely to support fracking?

More Likely: 26%

Less Likely: 54%

No Difference: 20%

More Likely: 26%

Less Likely: 65%

No Difference: 13%

How do you feel about North Carolina’s current environmental and regulatory safeguards?

Too Weak: 45%

About Right: 32%

Too Strong: 14%

Not Sure: 9%

Too Weak: 47%

About Right: 26%

Too Strong: 13%

Not Sure: 13%

How do you rate the way Pat McCrory is performing his job as governor?

Approve: 43%

Disapprove: 54%

Not Sure: 3%

Approve: 35%

Disapprove: 62%

Not Sure: 1%

How do you rate the way Thom Tillis is performing his job as Speaker of the state House of Representatives?

Approve: 39%

Disapprove: 58%

Not Sure: 3%

Approve: 32%

Disapprove: 65%

Not Sure: 3%

Do you approve or disapprove Gov. Pat McCrory’s handling of environmental issues?

Approve: 38%

Disapprove: 42%

Not Sure: 19%

Approve: 31%

Disapprove: 53%

Not Sure: 17%

Do you approve or disapprove House Speaker Thom Tillis’ handling of environmental issues?

Approve: 37%

Disapprove: 44%

Not Sure: 18%

Approve: 27%

Disapprove: 58%

Not Sure: 15% 

The poll also asked voters to rate their opinions of several different energy sources. Here is a sampling of the results, ranked from most popular to least popular:

Energy Source

District 116 (Moffitt)

District 118 (Presnell)

Solar

Favorable: 80%

Unfavorable: 16%

Not Sure: 4%

Favorable: 87%

Unfavorable: 10%

Not Sure: 3%

Hydroelectric

Favorable: 83%

Unfavorable: 10%

Not Sure: 7%

Favorable: 83%

Unfavorable: 10%

Not Sure: 8%

Wind

Favorable: 74%

Unfavorable: 21%

Not Sure: 5%

Favorable: 81%

Unfavorable: 15%

Not Sure: 4%

Coal

Favorable: 56%

Unfavorable: 41%

Not Sure: 3%

Favorable: 47%

Unfavorable: 48%

Not Sure: 5%

Fracking

Favorable: 40%

Unfavorable: 57%

Not Sure: 3%

Favorable: 28%
Unfavorable: 67%
Not Sure: 5%

 

Comments

  1. chip collins's avatar
    chip collins
    | Permalink
    I would like NC to ban fracking.
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