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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Survey* of Western Pennsylvanians on drilling

More than 64 percent say climate change is a "severe" or "moderate" problem, while 18.5 percent say it's not a problem, with men and those earning more than $75,000 more likely to be in the denier group.

"Public views are also at odds about shale gas development. Nearly 59 percent believe drilling poses a significant or moderate threat to public health and the environment. At the same time, 48 percent support shale gas drilling, compared to 29 percent who oppose it.  But more than 70 percent oppose drilling in state parks, game lands and nature reserves. "It shows people are of two minds on Marcellus Shale gas," Mr. Heuck said. "They're aware of the economic shot in the arm Marcellus has been and promises to be, but they also want government to make sure it's done right. They're concerned about public health and the environment." He noted that more than 95 percent said the chemical components of fracking fluids should be made public, and "that's a very strong statement." 

*The 80-question survey, conducted by phone in May and June, is based on responses from 800 randomly selected residents of southwestern Pennsylvania; half of those in Allegheny County and half in the surrounding counties of Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland.