Less than a third support fracking, says DECC survey


Less than a third of people support fracking for shale gas, according to the latest survey of public attitudes commissioned by the Department for Energy and Climate Change.

Just 27 per cent of the 2,110 people surveyed said they supported “extracting shale gas to generate the UK’s heat and electricity”, with 21 per cent opposed and 48 per cent undecided. The survey did not give respondents information about the environmental arguments surrounding shale.

This is the first time DECC has asked about support for shale gas in its public attitudes survey. Some 70% of respondents to the latest survey said they know “a little” or “a lot” about fracking for shale gas, up from 42% in July 2012.

According to the results, men were slightly more likely than women to know about shale gas (77 per cent as against 64 per cent). People who knew a lot about shale gas were significantly more likely to support it; owner-occupiers were significantly more likely than social renters to know about shale gas and were more likely to support the extraction of shale gas.

This study shows far less support for extraction than the long-running research by Nottingham University. It’s latest results, published last month, showed 53.8 per cent thought shale gas exploration should be allowed in the UK, compared with 26.6 per cent who were against. Nottingham University’s study asked this question only to the 66 per cent of respondents who knew what shale gas was.

  • The DECC study results were based on 2,110 face-to-face in-home interviews conducted with a representative sample of UK adults aged 16+. Fieldwork was conducted between 11 and 15 December 2013 on the TNS UK Omnibus, which uses a random location quota sampling method.

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