A new poll released yesterday by Franklin and Marshall College shows strong support for continued natural gas development throughout Pennsylvania. Out of the 580 people surveyed, the poll found that a whopping 64 percent strongly favored natural gas development, compared to only 27 percent who were opposed.
Poll director G. Terry Madonna stated, “The voters of the state say, yep, we like the natural gas folks, but we want it done environmentally safely.”
Poll results by Franklin and Marshall come with little surprise, especially given polling we’ve seen in the recent past. In November 2013, a national poll by Robert Morris University showed strong support for hydraulic fracturing by a 12 point margin, with 56 percent supporting. Just last month Quinnipiac University found that Americans were in favor of the continued use of hydraulic fracturing during well completion by a nine point margin.
There seems to be a trend forming here: Americans support continued domestic oil and natural gas production, including the use of proven safe technologies like hydraulic fracturing.
With decades of development and hydraulic fracturing well completion technologies under this industry’s belt, you can bet that “responsible production” is at the top of everyone’s mind – including the companies producing the energy we all use. This production has also brought with it several environmental benefits of its own. Solely looking at the Commonwealth, we’ve seen a decrease in air emissions by 500 million tons. Nationwide, we’ve seen a significant decrease of CO2 emissions due to the increased use of natural gas for power generation.
And the benefits don’t just stop there. We’re seeing many economic benefits throughout the country, especially here in Pennsylvania.
Right now over 240,000 Pennsylvanians work in core and ancillary jobs associated with the oil and natural gas industry, and with average wages $35,564 higher than the statewide average, it’s clear that the industry is providing well-paying jobs for working families. By 2020, shale gas development is projected to contribute nearly $14 billion in economic activity to Pennsylvania, and also generate $5.6 billion in federal, state and local taxes.
Marcellus Shale development continues to be a target for environmental activist groups throughout the country, all of whom are looking to undermine the amazing opportunities that shale is delivering. However, as more Americans continue to reap the benefits of development and witness responsible development first hand, they’re increasingly recognizing that the wild claims and accusations from opponents are without merit.