Poll: Most favor more federal oversight to guard against pollution from gas drilling | PostIndependent.com

Poll: Most favor more federal oversight to guard against pollution from gas drilling

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – A poll released today indicates that a strong majority of voters in

Colorado’s Third Congressional District are in favor of increased federal

oversight of all of the nation’s water resources to guard against pollution,

and of a pending bill that would impose greater federal control of gas

drilling practices.

According to the poll, two thirds of registered voters in District 3 support

the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act (known as the

FRAC Act), which was introducted into both houses of Congress earlier this

year, while 22 percent oppose the act.

The Act, sponsored in the House by Colorado Representatives Diana DeGette

(D-Denver) and Jared Polis (D-Boulder), would impose federal oversight onto

the substances used in the hydraulic fracturing (known as “frac’ing”) of gas

wells. The procedure involves injection of huge volumes of water, sand and

chemicals into the wells to break up rock formations deep underground and

relese trapped oil and gas deposits, and has been the subject of growing

controversy over concerns it may be polluting groundwater and endangering

human health.

The poll reportedly also found that here is “strong support” among Dist. 3

voters for extending federal protection of all water sources, rather than

applying that protection solely to “navigable waterways” as ordered by the

U.S. Supreme Court in decisions in 2001 and 2006.

The poll was released on Tuesday by the Western Colorado Congress, an

alliance of community organizations, and the Western Organization of

Resource Councils, a network of agricultural and conservation groups in

several western states.

The poll indicated that the support for the FRAC Act is “consistent

throughout key voter groups in the district,” according to a statement from

WORC, including Democrats (80 percent), Independents (79 percent) and

Republicans (51 percent.)

Conducted by the the polling company, Harstad Strategic Research, Inc. in

late July, 2009, the poll asked questions of 504 registered voters in the

third district. Two questions focused on whether the Clean Water Act should

apply to all water sources or strictly to navigable waterways, and one asked

whether voters felt inclined to favor or to oppose the FRAC Act as described

to them by the poll takers.

For more, see the Sept. 17 edition of the Post Independent.

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