UK support for fracking falls to 1-in-5

Stormy sky over Big Ben
Source: DollarPhotoClub

A long-running Government survey has found that public support for fracking has fallen to its lowest level since December 2013. The latest results show that only 21 percent of people support the extraction of shale gas for use in the UK.

As part of the quarterly public attitudes survey, the British Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) held face-to-face interviews with 2,118 people toward the end of June. When asked about their opinion on hydraulic fracturing, 46 percent of the respondents said they had none, 28 percent said they opposed it and 21 percent expressed support.

Opposition was highest amongst respondents who said they knew about fracking, with 54% of those who knew about the process opposing it, compared to 32% backing it. The only group that was more supportive than against was those who said they knew nothing about the process.

The report also shows that support for nuclear power has also fallen, with just 33 percent of people backing it. And while general support for renewables remains very high, only 24 percent expressed strong support, the lowest since the survey began.

A DECC spokeswoman said “Renewables, shale gas and nuclear are all an important part of our low carbon energy mix, providing safe, reliable, affordable energy for future generations”.

Whilst Daisy Sands, of Greenpeace UK, said “The Government’s own survey shows ministers’ priorities on energy are at the polar opposite of what the British public wants”.

However, with almost half the population still undecided, there is still an opportunity for the industry to address the public perception of shale.

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