Public support for fracking slumps, survey reveals

Public support for fracking slumps, survey reveals

Public support for fracking slumps, survey reveals

First published in News

Public support for "fracking" continues to decline, despite promises of financial payments to communities who allow shale gas development, a survey has found.

Backing for the controversial technology, which involves pumping liquid at high pressure deep underground to fracture rock and release gas, has been on the slide since protests in Balcombe in the summer.

The latest in a series of surveys on public perceptions of the issue has shown that concerns over water pollution as a result of fracking have continued to increase.

Worries about water contamination had been declining before the Balcombe protests, but it formed a key issue for protesters worried that energy company Cuadrilla would frack in their area.

The survey of 3,751 people this month found that of those who had heard of fracking, 43% associated it with water contamination compared to 27% who did not.

In July, before the protests got going, 35% associated fracking with contaminating water, and 30% did not, a gap of just five percentage points.

But the split grew, with those concerned about contamination outstripping those who did not associate fracking with the issue by 11 percentage points in September, with the gap now standing at 16 percentage points.

Fewer people now consider shale gas to be a clean energy source either, with 30% thinking it was clean, compared to 43% who did not.

In July last year, 34% of people considered shale a clean energy source, while 37% did not, the research by the University of Nottingham found.

And although more people do see it as a cheap source of fuel, suggesting that Government claims that the alternative energy source could cut bills is having an effect, even that view is less strong than it was six months ago.

Half of those polled who had heard of fracking think shale is cheap, compared to 27% who do not.

Six months ago it was seen as cheap by 55% of people while just over a fifth (21%) did not think it was a cheap option.

Professor Sarah O'Hara, from the University's School of Geography, said the survey did show that people considered shale was a cheap form of fuel but the trend was moving away from a positive view of shale on cost.

"This suggests that the 'turn against fracking' indicated in September was not a 'blip' and may represent an increasing sense of unease with the environmental implications of fracking techniques amongst the UK public."

General support for fracking in the UK has also reduced and opposition has grown, although more than half still support it.

Friends of the Earth energy campaigner Tony Bosworth said: "With more communities facing up to the threat of fracking in their backyard it's little wonder that people increasingly realise that shale gas has been massively over-hyped, and its impacts down-played.

"Communities are right to be concerned about the impact that fracking will have on their lives and environment.

"And with experts warning that it won't lead to cheaper fuel bills or do much to tackle climate change, the Prime Minister's shale gas enthusiasm looks increasingly misjudged."

Comments (6)

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9:55pm Wed 29 Jan 14

tykemison says...

David"we are all in it together"Cameron has promised his"chum, chums"who own these companies that he will pass through legislation to start this abhorrent practice come what may.This type of drilling using pressure and chemicals will reek havoc on our beautiful planet, the man is a disgrace to the position of Prime Minister and has no ethics or redeeming features, all he sees is dinner parties and pound note signs.
David"we are all in it together"Cameron has promised his"chum, chums"who own these companies that he will pass through legislation to start this abhorrent practice come what may.This type of drilling using pressure and chemicals will reek havoc on our beautiful planet, the man is a disgrace to the position of Prime Minister and has no ethics or redeeming features, all he sees is dinner parties and pound note signs. tykemison
  • Score: 4

10:51pm Wed 29 Jan 14

GeorgeBTN says...

So no cheaper bills, no help in tackling climate change, polluting our waters and countryside and people still support fracking! Insane and money grabbing!
So no cheaper bills, no help in tackling climate change, polluting our waters and countryside and people still support fracking! Insane and money grabbing! GeorgeBTN
  • Score: 4

8:39am Thu 30 Jan 14

Take it Personally says...

The evidence against fracking is astounding. No wonder people are not supporting it. Just look at what's happened where they have fracked. It's just not worth it.
The evidence against fracking is astounding. No wonder people are not supporting it. Just look at what's happened where they have fracked. It's just not worth it. Take it Personally
  • Score: 4

9:28am Thu 30 Jan 14

Morpheus says...

Take it Personally wrote:
The evidence against fracking is astounding. No wonder people are not supporting it. Just look at what's happened where they have fracked. It's just not worth it.
Nothing has happened.
[quote][p][bold]Take it Personally[/bold] wrote: The evidence against fracking is astounding. No wonder people are not supporting it. Just look at what's happened where they have fracked. It's just not worth it.[/p][/quote]Nothing has happened. Morpheus
  • Score: -2

1:58pm Thu 30 Jan 14

thevoiceoftruth says...

What is there to support? Mythical lower energy bills? The destruction of the countryside? The risk of water pollution in a densely populated country? Even Conservative councils are opposing it.
What is there to support? Mythical lower energy bills? The destruction of the countryside? The risk of water pollution in a densely populated country? Even Conservative councils are opposing it. thevoiceoftruth
  • Score: 4

5:21pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Kamacan says...

Morpheus wrote:
Take it Personally wrote:
The evidence against fracking is astounding. No wonder people are not supporting it. Just look at what's happened where they have fracked. It's just not worth it.
Nothing has happened.
Morpheus (how appropriate is that) you must have been asleep and missed it.
Come and sit at the front of the class and wake up!
[quote][p][bold]Morpheus[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Take it Personally[/bold] wrote: The evidence against fracking is astounding. No wonder people are not supporting it. Just look at what's happened where they have fracked. It's just not worth it.[/p][/quote]Nothing has happened.[/p][/quote]Morpheus (how appropriate is that) you must have been asleep and missed it. Come and sit at the front of the class and wake up! Kamacan
  • Score: 3

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