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46% of Registered Voters Support U.S. Fracking Ban in Latest Poll

With political posturing ahead of the 2020 election in the United States already heating up, progressive pollster YouGov Blue is out with a new poll that shows a strong plurality of registered voters—46%—supporting measures to restrict oil and gas fracking, including 32% who strongly support a ban.

“Just over 33% of voters polled opposed banning fracking, with slightly more than 22% saying they were ‘strongly’ against the idea,” Huffington Post reports. “Democrats supported the ban most, with 63% in favour, 19% against, and another 19% unsure. Among Independents, 44% supported a ban, 36% opposed it, and 21% were undecided. Just 26% of Republicans backed a ban, while 24% were unsure and 50% opposed it.”

The survey question was scripted to lay out the pros and cons of fracking, before asking respondents whether they would support a ban. “Even with strong counter-arguments, a fracking ban is popular with the American public,” said Sean McElwee, co-founder of Data for Progress, the left-leaning think tank that commissioned the research. “Every Democrat should support it.”

However, “the results differ from past polls on fracking,” HuffPost notes. “In February 2018, the conservative-leaning pollster Rasmussen found 46% of likely U.S. voters favoured fracking, while 39% opposed it and 15% were unsure. “ An earlier study by Oregon State University actually picked up stronger support among people who lived closer to fracking sites. 

Meanwhile, a separate research release earlier this year “found that new U.S. oil and gas drilling, 90% of which involves fracking, is set to unleash 1,000 coal plants’ worth of climate pollution by 2050,” writes reporter Alexander C. Kaufman.