Just 15% support fracking, government survey reveals

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22nd November 2018 15:10 - Oil and Gas

Just 15% support fracking, government survey reveals: A quarterly survey into public attitudes towards fracking has revealed support is at the second lowest level it has been since the poll was created almost half a decade ago. 
Just 15% of those polled said they were in support of the controversial process to extract gas from the earth by drilling into shale rock.
The BEIS Public Attitudes Tracker polled around 4,000 households across the UK and found that support of fracking in the UK was down from 18% in March 2018, and up two percentage points from its record low support of 13% 12 months ago. The greatest support for fracking was in March 2014, when 29% of those polled were in support.
The survey revealed the number of people 'seriously concerned'  about fracking was 31%, slightly down from 32% in March when the question last appeared in the survey. Just twelve months ago, 36% opposed the process – the highest number since the survey began in 2013. 
Half of those polled (50%) said they neither support nor oppose fracking. 
In the last quarterly survey (August, 2018) questions about public support and opposition for fracking were dropped for the first time since 2013 - with plans to ask the questions annually instead.  However, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has now reinstated the questions due to entering a 'new era of shale gas exploration in the UK’.  A spokesperson said " it is only right that we routinely gauge the opinion of the British public and so the questions on supporting/opposing shale gas development will return to each quarter of the tracker.” 
Reasons for supporting fracking
The primary reason for people supporting fracking was that the UK needs to use all available energy sources (36%), followed by it ‘reduces dependence on other fossil fuels'(25%). Other reasons include ‘good for local jobs and investment (23%), ‘reduces dependence on other countries for UK’s energy supply (23%) and ‘will have a positive impact on UK economy (19%). The possible reduction of energy bills was also a reason for 17% of those polled. 
Main reasons for opposing fracking 
When it comes to being opposed to fracking, 58% said it was because of the ‘loss/destruction of the natural environment', while 27% said they believed it was not safe. Over a quarter (26%) were in opposition due to the fear of it causing earthquakes, while 25% of respondents feel there is too much risk and uncertainty around the process. The same percentage (25%) are worried about the risk of contamination of the water supply. 
*The survey data was collected in September 2018, before a number of earth tremors were felt near Blackpool close to Cuadrilla's fracking site after work began there in October. 

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