SACRAMENTO -- Californians want stricter regulation of hydraulic fracturing, the controversial method of oil and natural gas extraction, according to a new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California.
In addition, a majority of likely voters surveyed opposed the increased use of fracking, which involves injecting water and chemicals into the ground to remove the resources locked underneath.
The issue is gaining increased attention in California because energy companies are eyeing an estimated 15 billion barrels of oil in the massive Monterey Shale rock formation.
Sixty-one percent of likely voters said they favor stricter rules, and 53% said they’re against the expansion of fracking in the state.
The PPIC poll was conducted over the phone Sept. 10-17 and included 1,703 Californians.
The results echo a June poll conducted from the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and the Los Angeles Times. At that point, 58% of registered voters said they supported a moratorium on fracking until its environmental effects had been studied.
Legislative efforts to halt fracking in the state have repeatedly fallen short, but Gov. Jerry Brown did sign legislation earlier this month to increase scrutiny of the practice.
In addition to requiring an environmental study, the bill, SB 4 by Sen. Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills), requires new permitting of wells and notification of neighbors close to fracking sites.