Survey finds UK public has significant reservations about fracking
3rd November 2015 17:25 - Oil and Gas
A recent survey of the British public has revealed that the UK public have significant reservations about fracking for shale gas – or hydraulic fracture stimulation. The survey findings support the idea that the majority of the UK public favours renewable energy sources over alternative methods and that they feel that fossil fuels are linked with pollution and are archaic.
The market research consisted of an online survey of 1,457 people in the United Kingdom, during the Autumn of 2014.
The main author of the report, Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh from Cardiff University and the Tyndall Centre, said of the research findings:
“This is the first UK experimental survey of public perceptions of shale gas fracking. We find the public is very uncertain about the technology and about the government’s ability to adequately regulate shale gas.”
The public is largely conflicted about the use of shale gas, with there being an greater awareness of the risks associated with it (e.g. water contamination) as opposed to the potential benefits it can bring, such as a natural resource with contributes to energy security.
The researchers discovered that where one lives has an impact on whether they support fracking or not, with those living in ‘frackable’ areas (such as Lancashire) being more positive than those living elsewhere.
The survey discovered that political affiliation, environmental values and demographic factors had the strongest impact on whether people supported fracking.
When the respondents were provided with further information about the risks and benefits of shale gas fracking, the individuals whose attitudes changed were those who were the most conflicted prior.
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