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UK opinion polls show contradictory results on support for fracking

12 August 2014

A survey conducted by the research group Populus for industry body UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG) has found that 57% of Britons are in favour of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), as long as it forms part of a wider energy mix that includes the use of renewables.

A shale gas rig in West Sussex in 2013: Photo - Cuadrilla Resources
A shale gas rig in West Sussex in 2013: Photo - Cuadrilla Resources

Of the 4,000 people surveyed, only 16% were found to be opposed to fracking, while 27% were undecided. The survey also found “overwhelming support” (67%) for reducing Britain’s reliance on foreign gas imports.

UKOOG chief executive Ken Cronin said: “This survey shows that most people across the country think that shale gas should be developed.”

But on August 12 the Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) published the latest results of a quarterly public attitudes tracker where only 24% of respondents were in favour of shale gas extraction.

The latest results from the DECC survey suggest a decline in support for fracking since March 2014, which found 29% were in favour of shale gas extraction – which was only a slight improvement on December’s figures of 28%, and far lower than UKOOG’s figures.

The DECC survey found that nearly half of respondents (47%) neither supported nor opposed shale extraction.

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