To: Dr. Barbara Altmann, President, Franklin & Marshall College
Franklin & Marshall College, Pull Misleading Polling Data on Restore Pennsylvania
Governor Wolf is pushing a climate- and community-killing plan called Restore Pennsylvania that would guarantee 20 more years of fracking and include fossil fuel subsidies for pipelines and manufacturing of plastics from fracked ethane. He omits those details when he sells his plan. The question on Restore Pennsylvania in your Center for Opinion Research's August poll made exactly the same omissions. Pull the results, tell the public why, and explain what role, if any, the Governor's wife's seat on your Board of Trustees played in the question's inclusion in the poll.
Why is this important?
Polling results are only as good as the questions that elicit them. So when Franklin & Marshall's Center for Opinion Research asked participants in its August poll to respond to a question on Governor Wolf's $4.5 billion four-year Restore Pennsylvania plan but omitted the same details of the plan the governor does when he talks about it, the results showing broad support for the plan were not an accurate reflection of public opinion, yet they're the ones the media reported. Participants weren't told Restore Pennsylvania will guarantee 20 more years of fracking to raise enough severance tax dollars to pay for it and how the plan contains fossil fuel subsidies for more pipelines and manufacturing of plastics from fracked ethane. Given that Franklin & Marshall's own March poll showed 67% of Pennsylvanians believe that climate change is already causing problems and 68% support the government doing more to address it, it's likely that people might have polled differently in August had they been presented with all the facts.
The Better Path Coalition has been fighting to stop Governor Wolf's plan. Communities already impacted by shale gas development can't take 20 more years of fracking and neither can the planet. Governor Wolf's plan relies on fracking for nine years beyond the amount of time we have left to address climate change. Five Democratic legislators refused to sign onto the plan for those reasons. Three more have removed their co-sponsorships and more are considering it or have told us they'll vote no.
Governor Wolf's wife sits on Franklin & Marshall's Board of Trustees. For that reason alone, the college must take steps to address real or perceived impropriety.
By signing this petition, you are joining us in calling on Franklin & Marshall's President to direct the Center for Opinion Research to pull its results, tell the public why they're doing it, and explain how such a flawed question made it into the poll in the first place.