Public support has cooled for stricter environmental regulation of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, a drilling method that has lowered U.S. energy prices while raising concerns over its impact on drinking water.
Fifty-six percent of Americans said there needs to be more regulation of the technique, also called fracking, according to a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 21-24, down from 65 percent in March. The share of respondents calling for less regulation of fracking rose to 29 percent, from 18 percent in March.
Gas prices have dropped 76 percent since July 2008 as producers use fracking, in which chemically treated water and sand are forced underground to break up rock and free gas trapped in tight layers of shale. In his Jan. 24 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama said fracking could support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.
Also: Shift by Cuomo on Gas Drilling Prompts Both Anger and Praise/The New York Times