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Large majority opposes fracking in Sullivan;500 county residents polled

By Fritz Mayer
October 10, 2011

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY – A new poll conducted by Pulse Opinion Research shows that a large majority of residents in Sullivan County oppose hydraulic fracturing and favor the enactment of zoning regulations that would restrict it.

The two questions on the poll and the answer are:

Do you support natural gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing in your town?
Yes, 27%; No 69%; Not sure 4%;

Would you support your town enacting zoning ordinances to restrict natural gas extraction by means of hydraulic fracturing?
Yes 69%; No 24%; Not sure 7%

The poll was commissioned by the not-for-profit Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy (CCSE), which is well-known for it’s activism against gas drilling and fracking. But an Internet search reveals that Pulse is engaged in numerous polls at the national, state and local levels. The Pulse website, www.pulseopinionresearch.com, says, “Over the period from 2003 to 2009, Pulse generated 18% of its revenue from Republican sources, 20% from Democrats and 61% from sources not affiliated with either major party.”

According to a press release from CCSE, the poll of 500 county residents was conducted between October 1st and October 3rd. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.5% and a 95% level of confidence. Residents who said they did not know enough about hydraulic fracturing to form an opinion were not included in the poll.

Bruce Ferguson, a member of CCSE, who is also running for supervisor in the Town of Calliccon, said, “Previous statewide polls have shown that most New Yorkers don’t think the rewards justify the risks; now we know that the great majority of people who will be directly affected by fracking want nothing to do with it. Sullivan County residents emphatically say ‘No!’ to fracking.”

According to information on the Pulse website, the cost of the least expensive poll for a local political race is $1,500.