High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 1

Hamilton and Lebanon, New York, Residents’ Perceptions on the Use of High-Volume
Hydraulic Fracturing in Natural Gas Development

The Survey
A survey of residents was conducted in two towns located in the southern Madison county of
New York State during the spring of 2012 to assess their knowledge and views regarding the use
of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (also referred to as “hydrofracking”) in natural gas
development. The study is a collaborative effort by Madison County Citizens for Safe Energy
and the Upstate Institute at Colgate University. The results of this study will be used as a
baseline to understand residents’ knowledge and concerns so that Citizens for Safe Energy can
tailor their future programming to focus on salient issues regarding natural gas development and
the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. Additionally, the results will be available to the
town governments to use at their discretion.

In June 2012, 737 surveys were sent out to randomly selected households from a list of 2,446
registered voters in the Town of Hamilton and 844 registered voters in the Town of Lebanon.
The questionnaire asked for information on their current knowledge and attitudes towards high-
volume hydraulic fracturing. The post office returned 35 of those surveys as “undeliverable.”
Out of the remaining 702 surveys, 126 surveys were returned with usable data (approximately
18% response rate).

Most of the results were analyzed using four different categories: all residents (n=126), large
land owners (>5 acres) who have not signed gas leases (n=27), village land-owners (n=21), and
residents that have signed a gas lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition (n=14).







High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 2
Personal Characteristics of Respondents
Table 1: Distribution of gender, age and education in the sample (n=126)










Respondents were asked to provide information on their personal characteristics including
gender, age, and level of education. The majority of respondents were older residents (40+),
residents that attended and/or completed graduate school, and female residents (Table 1).

Land Ownership Status
Residents were also asked their land-ownership status. Answer categories were: “I do not own
land,” “I own land in a village,” “I own fewer than 5 acres of land,” and “I own more than 5
acres of land.” The majority of respondents were small and large landowners (Figure 1).











Figure 1: Percentage of village, small and large landowners and residents that do not own land.
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Personal Characteristics
Gender
Male 43%
Female 57%
Age
Under 40 12%
40-64 years old 43%
65 and over 45%
How much education did you receive?
Attended/Completed High School 13%
Attended College 14%
Completed College Degree 26%
Attended/Completed Graduate School 47%
High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 3
Community Involvement
The survey asked residents a series of statements to gauge their involvement in the community
(Figure 2).
Figure 2: Respondents’ community involvement in the last two years.

• 67% of all respondents have met informally with others to address a local issue.
• 69% have given time or money for non-religious community activities.
• 52% have contacted a government agency, official or media about a local issue.
• 51% have worked or given money for church or religious projects.
• 13% have served on a local government board or as an officer.
• 67% have attended a public meeting where school or town affairs were discussed.
• 61% have participated in one or more community organizations.






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High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 4

Perceived Knowledge
The survey asked respondents to rate how well-informed (or knowledgeable) they are about each
of the various topics related to high-volume hydraulic fracturing:
a. Economic impacts
b. Environmental impacts
c. Possible Effects on Drinking Water
d. Gas Leases
e. Jobs and Job Training
f. Impact on Local Government
g. Compulsory Integration

Response choices were “very,” “somewhat,” “not very,” and “not at all.” For this analysis, the
categories were reduced to: “very,” “somewhat,” and “not very/not at all.”
High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 5
Figure 3. Reported knowledge of all respondents on topics related to natural gas development using high-
volume hydraulic fracturing.
• Overall: Respondents are more informed on economic impacts, environmental impacts
and possible effects on drinking water and less informed on gas leases, jobs and job
training, impact on local government and compulsory integration (Figure 3).
• Drinking Water: Respondents reported they are the most knowledgeable about the
possible effects on drinking water with forty-five percent of them stating they are “very”
informed.
• Environmental vs. Economic impacts: Respondents were more likely to report they are
“very” informed about environmental impacts (42%) than economic impacts (25%).
Residents who have signed gas leases or are members of a landowner’s coalition were
more likely to report they are “very” informed about the environmental impacts (57%)
than large land owners who have not signed gas leases (48%) and village landowners
(38%).
0%
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20%
30%
40%
50%
60%
70%
Economic
Impacts
Environmental
Impacts
Possible Effects
on Drinking
Water
Gas Leases Jobs and Job
Training
Impact on Local
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Topics
How Well-Informed Are You About the Following Topics Regarding
Natural Gas Development Using High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing?
Very
Somewhat
Not Very/Not at All
High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 6
• Compulsory Integration & Jobs/Job Training: Respondents reported they are “not
very/not at all” informed about compulsory integration (61%) and jobs and job training
(53%).
• Gas Leases: Residents who have signed gas leases or are members of a landowner’s
coalition were more likely to report they are “very” informed (46%) about gas leases than
village landowners (15%) and large landowners who have not signed gas leases (35%).
Village residents were more likely to report they are “not very/not at all” informed about
gas leases (50%) than large landowners who have not signed gas leases (31%), and those
who have signed gas leases or are members of a landowner’s coalition (23%).
• Neutral Respondents: Respondents that were “neutral” in support/opposition of natural
gas development using high-volume hydraulic fracturing were more likely than those
who stated an opinion (i. e., either support or oppose) to be “not very/not at all” informed
about all the topics, especially gas leases (84%) and compulsory integration (92%)
(Figure 4).







High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 7
Figure 4: Reported knowledge of “neutral” respondents on topics related to natural gas development using
high-volume hydraulic fracturing.

Trust in Groups and Organizations
Respondents were asked to rate their level of trust concerning high-volume hydraulic fracturing
in the following various groups and organizations:
a. Local community organizations
b. State Department of Environmental Conservation
c. Local environmental groups
d. Natural gas industry
e. Cooperative extension
f. Scientists and researchers

Answer categories were “a lot,” “some,” “a little” and “not at all.” The most common response
across all the groups and organizations, except for the natural gas industry, was “some” trust
(Figure 5).

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High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 8
Figure 5. All respondents’ levels of trust regarding high-volume hydraulic fracturing in groups and
organizations

• Scientists and researchers are most trustworthy with thirty-nine percent of all
respondents rating their trust level in them as “a lot.” Village landowners are more likely
to trust scientists and researchers “a lot” (55%) than residents who have signed gas leases
or are members in a landowner’s coalition (36%) and large landowners who have not
signed gas leases (19%). Forty-six percent of neutral respondents (i.e., are not in
support/opposition of the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing) reported they trusted
scientists and researchers “a lot” (Figure 5).
• Local environmental groups are the next most trusted group with twenty-three percent
of all respondents rating their trust level in them as “a lot.” Village landowners (33%) are
more likely to trust local environmental groups than residents who signed gas leases or
are members of a landowner’s coalition (14%) and large landowners who have not signed
gas leases (16%). The majority (60%) of neutral respondents (e.g. are not in
support/opposition of the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing) reported they had
“some” trust in local environmental organizations.
• The natural gas industry is the least trusted group/organization with sixty-five percent
of all respondents rating their trust level in them as “not at all.” Village landowners
(62%) and large landowners who have not signed a gas lease (73%) are more likely to
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High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 9
“not at all” trust the natural gas industry than residents who have signed a gas lease or are
members of a landowner’s coalition (21%).
• NYSDEC: Twelve percent of all respondents rated their trust in The State Department of
Environmental Conservation as “a lot” but seventeen percent rated their trust in the DEC
as “not at all.” Village landowners (48%) are more likely report they had “a lot” of trust
in the DEC than large landowners who have not signed gas leases (15%) and residents
that have signed a gas lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition (14%). Large
landowners who have not signed a gas lease (19%) are more likely to rate their trust in
the DEC as “not at all” than village landowners (5%) and residents who have signed gas
leases/member of landowner’s coalition (7%).
• Cooperative Extension: Ten percent of all residents rated their trust in cooperative
extension as “a lot” and fourteen as “not at all.” Some residents (n=8) do not know what
cooperative extension is so they did not answer the question.

Expected Outcomes on the Local Community
The survey asked residents about the effects they expected the implementation of high-volume
hydraulic fracturing in natural gas development would have on the following:
a. Overall quality of life
b. Property Values
c. Neighborliness/Sense of community
d. Quality of drinking water
e. Quality of natural environment
f. Roads and streets
g. Recreational opportunities
h. Quality of health care
i. Quality of public schools
j. Overall cost of living
k. Availability of jobs

Answer categories were “will improve,” “will stay the same,” “will get worse,” and “not sure.”

High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 10
Figure 6: Expected outcomes of high-volume hydraulic fracturing on the local community (all respondents).

• Quality of Life: Half (50%) of the respondents reported they believe the overall quality
of life will get worse, while a quarter (25%) believe it will stay the same and 5% think it
will get better. One in five (20%) reported they are “not sure” how their quality of life
would change as a result of the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (Figure 7).
Residents who have signed a gas lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition were
less likely to report they believe their overall quality of life will get worse (14%)
compared to large landowners who have not signed gas leases (62%) and village
landowners (57%) (Figure 6).
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Availability of Jobs
Overall Cost of Living
Quality of Public Schools
Quality of Health Care
Recreational Opportunities
Roads and Streets
Quality of Natural Environment
Quality of Drinking Water
Neighborliness/Sense of
Community
Property Values
Overall Quality of Life
Percentage Of Residents
Based on Your Understanding, How Will Local Natural Gas Development Using
High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Affect the Following?
Not Sure
Will Get Worse
Will Stay the Same
Will Improve
High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 11













Figure 7: Expected outcomes of hydraulic fracturing on overall quality of life (all respondents).

• Property Values: The majority of all respondents (53%) think that property values will
decrease while twelve percent think that they will improve and seventeen percent think
that they will stay the same. Residents who have signed a gas lease or are members of a
landowner’s coalition were more likely to report they believe their property values will
improve than village landowners (46% and 0%, respectively).
• Neighborliness/Sense of Community: Forty-five percent of all respondents think that
neighborliness and sense of community will get worse, twenty-five percent think it will
stay the same, and three percent think it will improve. Fifty-eight percent of large
landowners who have not signed a gas lease and forty-three percent of village landowners
think that it will get worse while seventeen percent of residents who have signed a gas
lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition feel the same.
• Drinking Water: The majority of all respondents (60%) think that the quality of
drinking water will get worse while twenty percent think it will stay the same. Residents
who have signed a gas lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition were more likely
to report they believe the quality of drinking water would stay the same (57%) compared
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High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 12
to village landowners (14%) and large landowners who have not signed gas leases (4%).
No one reported that they think that the quality of drinking water will get better.














Figure 8: Expected outcomes of high-volume hydraulic fracturing on overall quality of the natural
environment (all respondents).

• Natural Environment: The majority of all respondents (68%) also reported they think
that the quality of the natural environment will get worse, while nineteen percent think it
will stay the same. Residents who have signed a gas lease or are members of a
landowner’s coalition were more likely to report they believe the quality of the natural
environment would stay the same (71%) compared to village landowners (14%) and large
landowners who have not signed gas leases (4%). No one reported that they believe that
the quality of the natural environment will improve (Figure 8).
• Roads/Streets: Thirty-four percent of all respondents think that roads and streets will get
worse, thirty-nine percent think that it will stay the same, and three percent think it will
improve. Some residents commented that they think the roads and streets will get worse
at first, but will improve as time passes.
• Recreational Opportunities: Fifty-three percent of all respondents think that the
recreational opportunities will stay the same, twenty percent think they will get worse and
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High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 13
three percent think they will improve. None of the village landowners think that
recreational opportunities will improve.
• Health Care: The majority of all respondents (53%) think that quality of health care will
stay the same, twenty percent think it will get worse and only three percent think it will
improve.
• Public Schools: Of all residents, thirteen percent think the quality of the public schools
will get worse, seven percent think it will improve and fifty-six percent think it will stay
the same. Village landowners were more likely to think it will get worse (50%) compared
to large landowners who have not signed a gas lease (20%) and residents who have
signed a gas lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition (15%).
• Cost of Living: Forty-seven percent of all residents think that overall cost of living will
stay the same, seven percent think it will get worse, and thirteen percent think it will
improve. Large landowners who have not signed a gas leases were more likely to report
that they believe overall cost of living will get worse (23%) compared to village
landowners (5%) and residents who have signed a gas lease or are members of a
landowner’s coalition (0%).
• Jobs: Forty-one percent of all residents think the availability of jobs will improve while
thirty-two percent that think they will stay the same. Only three percent think that the
availability of jobs will get worse. Residents who have signed a gas lease or are members
of a landowner’s coalition (62%) were more likely to report that they think the
availability of jobs will improve than village landowners (43%) and large landowners
who have not signed a gas lease (22%).

Perceived Risks and Benefits
In order to grasp how residents feel about the development of the gas industry, respondents were
asked whether they were not sure, agreed, were neutral, or disagreed with a series of statements
concerning potential risks and benefits (Figure 9). The survey also asked general questions to
assess community residents’ attitudes and perceptions regarding the development of the natural
gas industry using high-volume hydraulic fracturing.


High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 14

Figure 9: Perceptions of all respondents on the risks and benefits of hydraulic fracturing and the
development of the gas company.

• Economic Benefit: More residents disagree than agree with the statement: “Natural gas
development will bring long-term economic benefit to our region” (46% vs. 21%).
Residents who have signed a gas lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition (79%)
are more likely to feel that natural gas development will bring long-term economic
benefit to the region than village landowners (10%) and large landowners who have not
signed a gas lease (8%).
• Home Rule: Thirty-nine percent of all respondents agree (vs. 24% who disagree) that
town government should be able to exercise home rule in regulating local gas
development.
0° 10° 20° 30° 40° 30° 60° 70°
naLural gas developmenL should be encouraged ln order Lo
decrease rellance on lmporLed energy.
Any negauve envlronmenLal lmpacLs of naLural gas exLracuon can
be prevenLed.
Any beneñLs of gas developmenL ouLwelgh any cosLs.
naLural gas developmenL wlll creaLe long-Lerm envlronmenLal
problems.
Any negauve lmpacLs of naLural gas exLracuon can be ñxed.
naLural gas developmenL wlll provlde employmenL.
naLural gas developmenL makes me opumlsuc abouL Lhe fuLure of
upsLaLe new ?ork.
Compulsory lnLegrauon ls a necessary parL of falr gas leaslng
pracuces.
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regulaung local gas developmenL.
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our reglon.
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High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 15
• Compulsory Integration: Fourteen percent of all respondents agree (vs. 25% who
disagree) that compulsory integration is a necessary part of fair gas leasing practices.
Large landowners who have not signed a gas lease (38%) and village landowners (29%)
are more likely to disagree than residents that have signed a gas lease or are members of a
landowner’s coalition (7%). The majority of residents (53%) noted that they do not know
what compulsory integration is.
• Optimism: The majority of all residents (52%) do not feel that natural gas development
makes them optimistic about the future of upstate New York. Residents who have signed
gas leases or are members of a landowner’s coalition (71%) are more likely to feel that
natural gas development makes them optimistic about the region’s future than large
landowners who have not signed a gas lease (12%) and village landowners (10%).
• Employment: Forty-one percent of all residents agree (vs. 17% that disagree) with the
statement: “Natural gas development will provide employment.” Village landowners
(48%) and residents who have signed gas leases or are members of a landowner’s
coalition (64%) are more likely to feel that natural gas development will provide
employment than large landowners who have not signed a gas lease (27%).
• Reversible Impacts: The majority of all residents (56%) disagree with the statement:
“Any negative impacts of natural gas extraction can be fixed.” Residents who have
signed gas leases or are members of a landowner’s coalitions (57%) are more likely to
feel that any negative impacts of natural gas extraction can be fixed than village
landowners (14%) and large landowners who have not signed a gas lease (4%).
• Environmental Problems: The majority of all respondents (55%) agree that natural gas
development will create long-term environmental problems (Figure 10). Village
landowners (62%) and large landowners who have not signed a gas lease (52%) are more
likely to feel that natural gas development will create long-term environmental problems
than residents who have signed gas lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition
(8%).




High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 16













Figure 10: Residents’ responses to the statement: “Natural gas development will create long-term
environmental problems.

• Benefits vs. Costs: Sixty-one percent of residents disagree with the statement: “Any
benefits of gas development outweigh any costs” (Figure 11). Large landowners who
have not signed a gas lease (73%) and village landowners (52%) are more likely to feel
that any benefits of gas development do not outweigh any costs than residents who have
signed a gas lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition.










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High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 17


Figure 11: Residents’ responses to the statement: “Any benefits of gas development outweigh any costs.”

• Preventable Impacts: Forty-seven percent of all residents do not believe that any
negative environmental impacts of natural gas extraction can be prevented. Residents
who have signed gas leases or are members of a landowner’s coalition (57%) are more
likely to agree that any negative environmental impacts of natural gas extraction can be
prevented than village landowners (14%) and large landowners who have not signed a
gas lease (26%).
• Natural Gas Development: Thirty-four percent of all respondents think that natural gas
development should be encouraged in order to decrease reliance on imported energy
while thirty-seven percent disagree. Residents who have signed a gas lease or are
members in a landowner’s coalition (86%) are more likely to believe that natural gas
development should be encouraged to decrease reliance on imported energy than village
landowners (19%) and large landowners who have not signed gas leases (33%).

Overall Opposition and Support
Residents were asked: “Based on your understanding of the benefits and risks, what is you
opinion about natural gas extraction using high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the upstate New
York region?” Answer categories were: “strongly support,” “support,” “neutral,” “opposed,” and
“strongly opposed.” For this analysis, the categories were condensed to: “strongly
support/support,” “neutral” and “opposed/strongly opposed.”

The majority of residents (61%) are opposed to natural gas extraction using high-volume
hydraulic fracturing in the upstate New York region. Eighteen percent of residents supported the
use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing and twenty-one percent were neutral (Figure 12).





High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 18




Figure 12: Overall position of all respondents on the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the Upstate
New York region

• Support: Residents who have signed a gas lease or are members of a landowner’s
coalition are more likely to support the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing (64%)
than village owners (10%) and large landowners who have not signed a gas lease (11%).
• Opposition: Village landowners (76%) and large land landowners who have not signed a
gas lease (63%) are more likely to oppose the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in
natural gas extraction than residents who have signed a gas lease or are members of a
landowner’s coalition (14%).



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High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 19



Summary and Conclusion

This study explored Madison county residents’ opinions and perceptions regarding the
development of the natural gas industry, and more specifically, the use of high-volume hydraulic
fracturing in the extraction of natural gas. The majority of residents expressed that they believe
high-volume hydraulic fracturing will negatively affect property values, the natural environment,
the quality of drinking water and most importantly, the overall quality of life. Of all respondents,
residents who have signed gas leases or are members of a landowner’s coalition are less inclined
to believe that high-volume hydraulic fracturing will detrimentally affect the natural
environment, community infrastructure and overall quality of life. Furthermore, the majority of
residents professed they are not optimistic about the future of upstate New York under natural
gas development. While acknowledging the prospect of employment opportunities, they
expressed skepticism towards the long-term economic benefit and the natural gas industry.

Since most residents predict that the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing in natural gas
development will negatively affect their surroundings and community, it is no surprise that the
majority of residents are opposed to using high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the upstate New
York region. Residents who have signed a gas lease or are members of a landowner’s coalition
are more likely to support the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing than other residents.
Approximately a fifth of residents reported they were “neutral” and did not support nor oppose
the use of high-volume hydraulic fracturing. The majority of residents that did not state an
opinion in opposition to or in support of high-volume hydraulic fracturing reported they were not
very or not at all informed of the potential impacts of natural gas drilling and consequently had
not formed opinions about the potential risks and benefits. Perceived knowledge levels are
related to a tendency for respondents to take a stance for or against the use of high-volume
hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas. In addition, a significant amount of respondents
expressed lack of information and/or knowledge of certain aspects of the high-volume hydraulic
High-VolumeHydraulicFracturing 20
fracturing issue such as compulsory integration and cooperative extension. Such knowledge on
salient topics can influence residents’ opinions.

For residents to develop a well-formed opinion regarding this issue, it is imperative that they
have access to objective information from trusted sources that will educate them about the
various aspects of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, while addressing misconceptions.
Information about the social, environmental, and economic impacts of high-volume hydraulic
fracturing must be spread throughout the community. Community response efforts should focus
on informing the public and encouraging citizen participation in a balanced and respectful
dialogue on the high-volume hydraulic fracturing issue.




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