But about half of Americans don’t even know what fracking is!

A slight majority of Americans are opposed to hydraulic fracturing according to a recent Pew Research survey: 49 percent oppose and 44 percent support increased use of fracking.

However a Rasmussen March 2012 poll found 57 percent supported fracking and 22 percent opposed the process.

The chart pictured above is from a global survey that suggests that natural gas is a relatively desirable energy source. But, the survey does not specifically ask about fracking.

Some single-state surveys show variations that do not necessarily relate to whether there are local shale oil/gas operations:

  • The public in Pennsylvania and Texas support hydraulic fracturing according to a survey by the Center for Economics and Policy.
  • New Yorkers are more likely to oppose (45 percent) than support (37 percent) fracking according to a Siena College December 2013 poll.
  • More Marylanders surveyed in March 2013 by Goucher Poll considered the process safe (37 percent) rather than unsafe (34 percent). The difference between the two states may be that, although neither currently has shale gas development, New York contains potential shale gas resources, but Maryland has almost none.

Now for the rest of the story: a Pew Research survey (April 2013) of science and technical knowledge found that only 51 percent knew that fracking was used to produce natural gas–the survey question asked if fracking was used to produce coal, diamonds, silica or natural gas.

Perhaps our failure to explain the process is greater than we thought!

Last 5 posts by Edie Allison

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