Today I watched the interview at Albany Watch posted by Jon Campbell and Steve Greenberg, a Siena College pollster. If you have read other comments from me in news stories regarding the Siena College polls on NY attitudes about fracking, you will already know I have no respect for the work. Today's interview just clinched it!
Dividing NY State into three sections - NY City, Southern Tier, and "Upstate" - is absurd. It shows a very clear misunderstanding of how our state interacts as a whole. Greenberg's reasoning was so he could get a better look at how those "most intimately affected" by fracking feel about it. To suggest that any section of this state would not be affected should HVHF be allow shows a complete ignorance of the issue. Water doesn't "magically appear" in drilling counties. Toxic waste doesn't stay in drilling counties. Trucks don't get to fracking sites by dropping out of the sky so as not to damage other's roads! State taxes for heath care and infrastructure are spread to every citizen. These are only a few examples. Everyone will be affected by industrialized drilling in NY. In one way or another we will all be paying for it.
And of course being from the Rochester region, I especially took offense to his comment that the western end of the state - you know Rochester and Buffalo areas - was not particularly interested in the topic. Unbelievable statement on his part!
Greenberg frequently uses derogatory terminology when referring to New Yorkers who are working hard to prevent HVHF from happening here. As always it's the "Yoko Ono and environmentalist" types that are doing all the yelling. Really? I won't list the hundreds of organizations with hundreds of people working for years to stop this catastrophe! (See bar links of Frack Orgs and More Resources). Professionals and activist citizens from every walk of life and every corner of the state have been coming together to stop this work. As can be seen in just about any blog or website or network page, the amount and depth of research has been extensive.
What bothers me most is that Greenberg constantly makes statements as truth when in fact it is apparent his knowledge is as narrow as the Siena poll samples. They generally poll 800 people. (He did add that at one time they added another 400 from the Southern Tier counties to better understand their feelings.) So in a state of over 19 million people, we are supposed to believe that Siena's 800+ sampling is a valid cross-section of the state's population? Well sir, not in my math book.
The most significant numbers in Siena's fracking polls are the ones showing the percentage of people who still feel they don't have enough information. It is available and we need to work harder I guess!
I want to know who charged Siena College pollsters as the state's authority on popular opinion for fracking? I can't help but wonder if this is more gas lobby influence being pushed into the airwaves as news worthy stories. The slant of Greenberg's conversation certainly does not suggest neutrality.