Research

Rise in support for fracking continues – latest government survey

Wave 25 000 summary

Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Wave 25 Tracker survey

Support for fracking in the UK has risen again, according to the latest findings from a quarterly government survey. Opposition remained unchanged and is still 14 percentage points ahead of support.

Wave 25 support

Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Wave 25 Tracker survey

The results published this morning put support at 18%, up two points on the previous survey. This is the second consecutive rise and is the highest level for support since this time a year ago.

According to the survey, support for shale gas still remains below support for nuclear energy (38%) and renewables (85%, a record high).

Wave 25 Oppose

Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Wave 25 Tracker survey

Opposition to fracking remained on 32% after a four point drop between the 2017 autumn and winter surveys. Opposition remains higher than a year ago.

The gap between support and opposition is narrowing and now stands on 14%, down from a record 23% in atumun 2017.

Neither support nor oppose

Wave 25 Neither support nor oppose

Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Wave 25 Tracker survey

Participants who neither supported nor oppose fell to 47%, the lowest level since summer 2016.

Strong support and opposition

Wave 25 support strongly

Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Wave 25 Tracker survey

Despite the rise in general support, strong support for fracking was down one percentage point to 2%. This appears to be part of a general trend from the record high of 6% in September 2013.

wave 25 oppose strongly

Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Wave 25 Tracker survey

The proportion of people who strongly oppose fracking rose by one per percentage point to 13%. This is just short of record levels seen at this time two years ago and in autumn 2017.

Awareness

Wave 25 Awareness

Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Wave 25 Tracker survey

Overall awareness remained unchanged at 76%. 12% said they knew a lot, down 3% on the previous survey. 42% of participants said they knew a little and 22% said they were aware of shale gas but didn’t know what it was. 24% said they had not heard of it.

The researchers said awareness of fracking was higher amongst those in social grade AB (92%) and those aged 55-64 (86%) and 65+ (87%).

Awareness was also highest among participants with household incomes over £35,000. The level was 87% for household incomes £35,000-£49,999, and 86% for those over £50,000.

Reasons for support

Wave 25 Reasons to support

Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Wave 25 Tracker survey

The cold spring and news headlines about energy imports may have influenced the reasons for supporting fracking.

The proportion who said they supported shale gas rose because it would reduce dependence on imports rose to 36% in this survey, up from 25% three months earlier.

Other leading reasons for support were “need to use all available energy sources” and “reducing dependence on other fossil fuels”. Both these reasons saw small falls.

Reasons for opposition

Wave 25 reasons to oppose

Source: BEIS Public Attitudes Wave 25 Tracker survey

Concerns about loss or destruction of the environment remained the leading reasons for opposing fracking, though it fell from 62% in the previous survey to 57% in this one. Other leading reasons to oppose also rose in this survey:

  • Risk of contamination to water supply – up four point to 31%
  • Too much risk or uncertainty – up four point to 28%
  • Risk of earthquakes – up six points to 29%

Reaction

171214 Frack Free Lancashire1

Protest outside Lancashire County Council in Preston, 14 December 2017. Photo: Frack Free Lancashire

A spokesperson for Frack Free Lancashire said:

“The long-term trend is obvious – this industry continuously fails to win support in spite of efforts to alternately buy local support and to threaten opposition with draconian legal injunctions.

“The data suggests that the small increase in support, from recent record lows, seems to be attributable to the fake news during the cold snap about UK energy dependence on Russia. The reason for support “Reduces dependence on other countries for UK’s energy supply” leapt from 25% to 36% of those polled this time around, when in fact UK imports less than 1% of its gas from Russian sources.

“Meanwhile, support for renewable energy continues to increase, with a record 85% of those polled expressing support, and with strong support surging from 30% to 37%.

“The direction of travel in public opinion is clear. We now need our politicians to recognise this and take actions accordingly.”

A spokesperson for Frack Free United said:

“Unfortunately the misinformation and ignorance about our gas supplies from Russia are likely to create a knee-jerk response. The fact that there is no real change over the past year goes to show fracking is not the popular way to secure our energy supplies.”

Methodology

The Wave 25 survey for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy carried out 2,102 face-to-face interviews in homes among a representative sample of UK households. The data was collected 28 March and 6 April 2018 using the Kantar TNS Omnibus, a random location quota sampling method. The questionnaire was designed by BEIS and Kantar Public (formerly TNS BMRB) drawing on a number of questions from previous surveys.

Link

Wave 25, the latest BEIS quarterly public attitudes survey

 

 

 

82 replies »

  1. KatT-there are plenty of industries who conduct market research ahead of a new product/market segment roll out. The pattern is the same. Many questioned will keep an open mind until there is proven experience to convince them differently, but will not be convinced to ban anything until that is available. Some others will be convinced of the technological/economic proposals and will become advocates, others will become activated to stop it happening before that is demonstrated, for a mixture of motives-some valid, many not. Competitors are often found in the last category. Sounds familiar?

    It is pretty normal, and very common. I really can not see why you feel when the same methodology is used reference the energy market, including fracking, it somehow follows different parameters. Although some do, I know, and then feel they should not be subject to the controls of the ASA, but soon find out differently.

  2. Research and witness statements on something that has yet to happen!! Somewhat limited.

    Still awaiting the results of the same that George put forward, that was going to be immediate. Didn’t fool too many.

    Hence the two thirds. Maybe they use their own experiences Sherwulfe, rather than fake news?

    Gullible no, easily fooled, no. Outsource their common sense to Giggle, (or RT) no.

    Seems a lot do their own research and experience and come to a different conclusion. That’s the inquisitive and independent nature of the Brits.

    • ‘Research and witness statements on something that has yet to happen!! Somewhat limited.’ are you collecting green bottles again Martin or spending too much time watching the swallows? Do you never read anything?

      ‘Hence the two thirds. Maybe they use their own experiences Sherwulfe, rather than fake news?’ ah yes those convenient friends and family members ‘experience’ of, as you put it, ‘something that has yet to happen’…..trend is going down down down for support; small increase correlates with drop in ‘knew a lot’ hardly an endorsement and a suggestion using your two thirds logic that those additional supporters actually know nothing about fracking; hilarious.

      ‘Seems a lot do their own research and experience and come to a different conclusion’ – sadly not until the bogeyman comes knocking on their door; that’s the true nature of all humans, British or otherwise; solve the problem, remove the threat when it occurs, live our lives any other time……

      85% record high support for renewables; a paltry 18% support for fracking…..

  3. Renewables can only happen without gas? Who decided the either/or?

    Find me a witness to fracking for on shore UK gas Sherwulfe. Not one within your reading, not one last seen on a unicorn in the far distance, not one from a parallel universe, but a real one. Good luck with that. One of those strange cars may come in handy.

    You learn something new every day. I think I have found the source of the antidepressant!

    • Martin was Preese Hall not fracked then and is that not on shore? Granted it was a vertical well and not horizontal but it was definitely hydraulically fractured. So that pretty much means the whole of the Fylde witnessed a potential gas well being fracked. How did that turn out btw?

    • Perhaps Martin you would like to be reminded of Preese Hall (UK frack 2011) and 50 seismic events? Who would you like to speak to in the BGS?

      ‘I think I have found the source of the antidepressant!’ – yes, it’s called a green bottle; bless

      • Sher I see Martin has clammed up on this thread and moved onto pastures new but just for sh!ts and giggles here is confirmation of the point you and I have made from Prof Peter Styles et al in the paper titled ‘Horizontal respect distance for hydraulic fracturing in the vicinity of existing faults in deep geological reservoirs: a review and modelling study’ published in 2017:-

        “Felt seismicity occurring near Blackpool, Lancashire, UK (Clarke et al. 2014), was associated with the first fracked well for shale gas in the UK, commencing just before and during the second stage of hydraulic fracturing and, as such, has become of considerable interest to all parties in the shale gas debate. Analysis of the seismicity shows that these felt events were caused by fluid injection reactivating pre-existing faults (Clarke et al. 2014)..”

        Click to access 10.1007%2Fs40948-017-0065-3.pdf

  4. OMG-really clutching at straws now! That one has been tried and tried and has run out of gas. I thought this was going to be the year of a recruiting drive and refreshed activity? More like a wall crumbling away. I fear for the remaining Green bottles.

    Looks as if all those Teslas will have to be scrapped then.

    No wonder the two thirds are staying stubbornly unmoved.

  5. What a quaint imagination you have Martin. You’re like Jacob Rees Mogg imagining he knows exactly what all the people in England think and want (with his references to Brexit)….. “they knew exactly what they were voting for”. I can see your trick of ingratiating yourself to your imagined majority by slamming those who appear to underestimate them. Cute, but rather old school – nowadays called populism. A smarter generation will – hopefully just in time – save the country from this slippery slope i.e. your kind of ‘progress’ towards a polluted land and dying planet.

  6. And your point is, PhilipP?

    Are there not two thirds who when surveyed were not against fracking. Do the last two surveys not show it is the antis who are struggling to maintain support?

    You have a quaint habit of implying these two thirds are not as smart as they should be. It’s not the first time you have done so, and to be fair, you are not alone.

    However, everyone, including the two thirds, can read the arguments put forward. They are not being moved against, so they have to be labelled as not too smart. Same trick as the Remainers use, and it doesn’t work. The people in the UK have a quaint habit of making up their own minds. I see that as being smart, and believe your fallback excuse is a bit previous, but put it down to disappointment. Come Monday the positivity may be back.

    • 85% support renewables;
      only 18% support fracking including 2% who admit they know nothing about fracking; hillarious

  7. OK then crembrule, if you want to dwell in the past.

    When are the solar panels all going to be dismantled? You know, the ones that catch fire.

    Or, the wind turbines that get blown over in gales, or simply blow up?

    The antis precautionary principle would not be blinkered to such events, would it? Or is it that alternative risk can be mitigated against but (un)conventional risk can’t?

    Perhaps the two thirds are not smart enough to observe such events? Although, the evidence suggests they are.

    Chilly here, and getting colder. Snow forecast for the north. Have a nice weekend and spare a thought for some of the elderly living in fuel poverty who were hoping summer had arrived.

    • Facts Martin! stick to the facts, no diversion, no bluster, no obfuscation – here is your original statement as an aide memoir:-

      “Find me a witness to fracking for on shore UK gas Sherwulfe. Not one within your reading, not one last seen on a unicorn in the far distance, not one from a parallel universe, but a real one. Good luck with that”

      and here’s the extract from the Styles paper

      “Felt seismicity occurring near Blackpool, Lancashire, UK (Clarke et al. 2014), was associated with the first fracked well for shale gas in the UK, commencing just before and during the second stage of hydraulic fracturing and, as such, has become of considerable interest to all parties in the shale gas debate. Analysis of the seismicity shows that these felt events were caused by fluid injection reactivating pre-existing faults (Clarke et al. 2014)..”

      So I have suggested a good proportion of the 320k residents Blackpool, the Fylde and Wyre would disprove your assertion. (Nb 2016 figures taken from ONS)

      Do you still stand by your original statement?

  8. You would actually find very few of the 320k aware of it crembrule.

    Yes, I stick by my original statement. There has been one small seismic event from UK on shore fracking which is ancient history and gives no indication that it will be repeated. In fact, as it did happen, there is more likelihood that it will not be repeated as extra care will be applied.
    Is that not the reason why we are still awaiting the next one?

    It does not represent any degree of “witness statements” as indicated. There have certainly been many more adverse events from so called alternative energy generation and several more severe seismic events in UK not associated with oil and gas exploration.

    I was hoping, but knowing it couldn’t be done, that the “witness statements” would supply some new information. But no, there is no more to supply. Thanks for the confirmation, it took a while but the clarification will be valuable for the two thirds. If there is only one hook, hang your coat on it! But don’t imply it is a major outer garment storage facility.

    Same old story produces same old result. “Rise in support for fracking continues,” or “Swampies drained”-of new ideas?

    • Any proof of this – “You would actually find very few of the 320k aware of it” or just pure uniformed speculation?

      Actually don’t bother answering as you would argue black was white. You are a contrarian who will never admit to being wrong even when you have been shown very clearly to be talking nonsense. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again you are a blowhard.

    • So Martin, for someone who shouts from the rooftops about their neighbour polluting their air with smoke from burning bedding.
      Irony:

      You

      have a very sad rhetoric,
      a lack of understanding

      are

      trying inflict on others
      a dirty fossil fuel extraction process
      next to their homes;
      puking out toxic fumes and light pollution,
      thumping through the night;
      shaking the very earth around their houses;
      lorry dodging whilst out enjoying the countryside;

      selfish

      is a mild response.
      that you are incapable of understanding the truth,
      as you dare not speak to those who can bear witness
      as you know you will appear foolish with your industry responses.

      Go back to your imaginary play,
      with your imaginary friends,
      and we can all get on,
      with having an adult conversation.

  9. “Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition”!!

    It has been done before, and they did it much better. But thanks for reminding me of it.

    Managed to find the reference to whingers and the farmer in Lancashire yet, crembrule? I wouldn’t suggest someone else doesn’t research matters until you can do it yourself. It becomes rather conspicuous.

    Happy lot aren’t you! Never mind, maybe a better week coming up-but I somehow doubt it.

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