New poll shows Michiganders holding conflicting views of 'fracking'

May 14, 2013

A new poll shows a slim majority of Michiganders support natural gas fracking, though they want the industry to face more regulations and pay more taxes.

Michigan’s natural gas industry has grown as companies have used a technique called Hydraulic Fracturing, or fracking, to break up shale deposits releasing natural gas.

Critics complain fracking is contaminating drinking water and causing other environmental problems.

But a new poll by the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy shows Michiganders view Fracking as having more ‘benefits’ than ‘problems’.

“Any support or perception of benefits in this area…is combined with a sense that this needs to be done in a very, very vigorous way with proper oversight,” says Barry Rabe, the director of the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the Ford School.

Rabe says the poll shows a sharp partisan divide on fracking, with Republicans overwhelmingly in support versus Democrats who are generally against it.