Fracking and natural gas exploration has employed Americans, kept oil prices low, and has left us with a vast reserve of energy that could help in our country’s push towards energy independence. Yet, disapproval of the process of hydraulic fracturing in releasing that natural gas has spiked over environmental concerns and the creation of earthquakes. According to Gallup, the increased numbers of Republicans disapproving of the process has help dampen support:
In Gallup's 2016 Environment survey, conducted March 2-6, Americans have a clearer position on fracking than they did a year ago. Last year, 40% said they favored fracking and 40% were opposed, with a substantial 19% not knowing about or having no opinion on fracking. In 2016, support for fracking has slipped to 36%, while opposition has climbed to 51%.
Republicans had the biggest drop in support for fracking, falling from 66% support in 2015 to 55% this year. Still, Republicans' support for fracking far exceeds support among independents (34%) and Democrats (25%). Views among the last two groups are essentially unchanged from last year.
Oh, and fracking doesn’t cause earthquakes, though the polling agency said that they did.