PA voters support fracking - but not in parks

Pennsylvania poll: Shows support for fracturing but opposition in parks

Pennsylvania voters are in favor of using hydraulic fracturing to produce natural gas in the state, but oppose Republican Governor Tom Corbett's plan to drill under state parks and forests, a Quinnipiac University poll revealed on Friday according to a report.

Some 58% of the state's voters support fracking, a process in which rock formations are cracked and infused with chemical-laced water to extract natural gas, Reuters reported. Thirty three percent oppose it.

But a similar majority, 57%, said they would oppose fracking under state parks and forests, with 36% supporting the idea.

Opinion is split largely along party lines, with 71% of Democrats and 58% of Independents opposed, and 58% of Republicans in favor.

"People in Pennsylvania have a high regard for the natural gas industry," the news wire quoted Terry Madonna, a professor of public affairs at Franklin & Marshall College, as saying.

"But they want it done in an environmentally sound way."

Some 39% of voters said Corbett's executive order of 23 May allowing park drilling would make them less likely to vote for him when he seeks re-election in November.

The order is also under attack in the state's Commonwealth Court, where a judge is expected to rule later this month on a petition from a coalition of conservation groups to stop the drilling with an injunction.

Corbett is counting on $75 million from the drilling to help get the state out of a budget hole in the coming fiscal year.

His office did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the poll results.

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