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      New poll shows majority of Cortland County opposes fracking

      Faith leaders in Cortland County say public opinion and God is on their side in the fight against hydrofracking.

      "Putting our faith in practice and to make clear that there is a higher accountability. Our faith mandate, we need to work for the public good and conserve our natural resources for the benefit of not only our current generation but generations to come," said Reverend Dr. Janet Adair Hansen with the Christ Presbyterian Church in Cortland.

      Hansen points to Cortland's sole source aquifer as a precious resource, that needs to be protected.

      A new poll, by Pulse Opinion Research, asked hundreds of Cortland County residents what they think about natural gas drilling that study shows 58% oppose it.

      "We hope that when she show them that 58% of their constituents want that. We hope it will make an impact on the legislature," said Mary Beilby.

      Some governments have already issued a ban within their towns or cities. Activists from MICAH (Moving in Congregations Acting in Hope) and GDACC (Gas Drilling Awareness of Cortland County) want local governments to maintain that control.

      But other landowners are hoping New York lifts the ban on drilling. The study shows 33% of Cortland County residents do want to tap into the lucrative marcellus shale, which could pull up millions of dollars for cash strapped governments and taxpayers.

      According to this poll, which randomly surveyed 500 people in Cortland county, 54% supported their town approving zoning ordinances which would restrict hydrofracking in their neighborhoods.

      "We have to make sure that our communities are protected and the companies don't come in an run rough," said Sheila Cohen.

      Right now, the DEC is combing through more than 30,000 comments on it's drilling oversight plan.

      If the DEC decides the state should move forward with fracking, no drilling permits will be issued until a final version of the review is complete, probably sometime next year.