TAKE OUR POLL: Attitudes Toward Fracking

Update: the survey is now closed. Thanks to all who took it (and to all who provided vehement feedback in the comments section). Results will be published soon.

These days, the word fracking seems joined at the hip to modifiers like controversial or contentious. Little wonder: the extraction of natural gas via hydraulic fracturing is an enormous and complex issue, one that influences everything from national energy policy to public health to global climate.

Sage Magazine, in partnership with the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, will be covering the innumerable facets of the fracking debate all year.We’ll attempt to address as many links as possible, in as nuanced a way as possible; we want to tell the fracking stories that don’t show up in USA Today. In an effort to gauge interest and knowledge, we’ve created this brief poll about public attitudes toward hydraulic fracturing –– frackitudes, if you will. Without further ado:


 Thanks for helping us better understand public attitudes toward fracking.

Photo by Flickr user andyarthur 

Sage Editors

SAGE Magazine is a publication of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

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  1. Joanne Fiorito says:

    this poll is a joke, right……I can go to the beginning and take it over and over again…..

    who is the genius behind that, eh…..

    and do this question of yours reall make sense to you:

    Who do you trust most for information about hydraulic fracturing?

    Gas companies and industry scientists

    University scientists

    National media

    State and federal government

    Anti-fracking activists

    gee, what ever happened to self-educated…..you could have put an OTHER box…..and could y’all make it sound any more demeaning…..

    “Anti-fracking activists”

    we pro-earthers are really driving y’all nuts, huh……reducin’ YALE SURVEY’S TEAM to name callin’…….lol……that’s ….soooooo IVY LEAGUISH

    this poll of yours is the furthest thing from being a scientific ANYTHING, and as a UNIVERSITY that is using a tax exempt status to push this agenda of yours is pretty pathetic to say the least……you folks should be ashamed of yourselves!

    Good luck with your faux-POLL?, rotflmao

    • The Editors says:

      Hi Joanne,

      Thanks for your comment. The poll wasn’t intended to be a scientific anything –– we were curious about what our readers thought, not trying to generate definitive, publishable results. Maybe allowing people to retake the poll was an oversight; if you want to do so, be our guest.

      Several people have suggested we add an “Other” or a “None of the Above” option for the question you’re referencing. That’s fair, and we probably should have done so. If you’re really self-educated, we commend you. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much primary literature published on fracking, so most people receive their information through an intermediary, like the media or activists.

      Speaking of which, we’re not sure why you consider “anti-fracking activist” to be such a grave insult. If somebody called us “anti-global warming activists” or “anti-seal clubbing activists” or whatever, we would probably deem it a compliment.

      Lastly, we’re not sure what agenda you’re referring to. We’ve published interviews with pro-fracking CEOs, yes, but we’ve also publish staunchly anti-fracking editorials. We’re a forum, not some nefarious agenda-pushers.

      The Editors

      • Joanne Fiorito says:

        thanks for the speedy reply….

        the word “anti” denotes a negative attitude towards a group of people.

        Most of the people I meet and discuss this matter with aren’t even activists, they’re concerned citizens who have been affected by this industry.

        Additionally, fracking isn’t the only problem. You all need to stop grouping things into tiny little categories (boxes/groups) because they just don’t fit.

        The problem is with the entire process of extraction – starting with their drilling, which btw, has caused many impacts to occur throughout our state of PA, and elsewhere.

        Adding an “Other” box would be a good thing, since I do tend to ignore US National news, and seek Alternative & Overseas News which is less biased.

        Why is it that your poll didn’t even entertain Professor Engelder’s favorite statement “NECESSARY SACRIFICE”? I’ve tried to pin this man down on what is meant by this statement, to no avail. If extracting gas/oil is so safe, those two words of his should not exist, but they do… so, why don’t you poll that statement.

        As it is now, folks who live amid the gasfield knows it means, stay here and you’ll die.

        Personally, I didn’t sink my investment money into nearly 27 acres just to be poisoned off my land, so a few can profit. I’m sure a lot of people feel the same way, because it comes up in conversations.

        I know people who have been bought out by this industry, because of the damage they did. So, tell us all where in blazes do you expect everyone to live, once they’ve been poisoned off of their lands. There are no guarantees that where they move to next won’t become this industry’s next victim, and moving to MARS most assuredly – isn’t an option.

        It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what all is wrong with the way this industry operates. All one needs is commonsense.

        Granted, I’ve got more than that having served in the US NAVY as a Storekeeper who was QA qualified, and graduated college with a BS in HR, so I know the whole picture. However, if you saw what is happening on the ground, and the way this industry treats and educates people about their process, you’d understand why people are upset. We’ve had enough of the lies, deceit, and tactical community dividing that this industry has brought to our communities.

        It’s time this nation moved on to safer less destructive renewable energies.

        If I were you, I wouldn’t bother posting the results from this poll – seeing how one can abuse it so easily.

        BTW, who encouraged you folks to do a poll such as this? I’m totally curious …..

        Respectfully Yours,

  2. How can we get the results of the poll when it is done? I’m curious to see how other people think. The question referenced by Joanne is a good one. I’m not sure there is any single source that can be trusted totally. I think the most distrusted source is Penn State University by people in PA. Dr. Terry Engelder has said on several occasions that we are the ‘sacrifice zone’, and that just doesn’t set well with people that are living the frack. Personally, I think we folks who are opposed realize that and garner their information from several sources. First we hear of the horror stories from first hand accounts, then we set off on a discovery mission of reading and learning. Then we look at what the industry is saying and see how it compares with what we have learned. Like Joanne, I too and self-taught. As I sit here weary eyed from no sleep due to the trucks going in and out of the frack site all night, I’m certain of one thing. I’ve lost all I ever worked for to have a home that was rural, safe and free from intrusion and probably won’t ever get back my 28 years of investing in this community and my home. Sadness abounds in this house. I’m left to wonder how many more “shale refugees” there are like me. All I want is to get out of the home I wanted to retire in.

  3. Maggie Henry says:

    I came here to suggest you add to the question mentioned above because when I first read it, heros of the movement came to mind Dr. Ingraffea, Dr. Volz… so I clicked on University Scientists and moved on to the next question. All of a sudden Engelhelder and the others influenced by industry money popped into my head and I was immediately sickened with the response and had to go back and change it to activists. I had no problem with the term as did Joanne. Activists are really ordinary people who have done their homework.
    Joanne’s over the top response put me in mind of the words of Natilie Maines…”How in the world could the words that I said send somebody so over the edge…” Sorry you have to deal with the crazies!

    • Joanne Fiorito says:

      Mz Herny, my beef isn’t with the word activists, it is with the use of the word “ANTI”, and the fact that activists and the others they’ve selected here as resources are not the only resources available for one to gain knowledge.

      now, as for you labeling me as a crazy, please let me know when you get your Psychiatric degree, until then stop playing a faux-doctor….

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