VIEWSBANK RESEARCH SHOWS. . . JUST ONE IN SIX WOULD SUPPORT FRACKING NEAR THEIR HOME
- But support rises to 33% if it is elsewhere in the UK and 37% if it is overseas
- Industry needs to prove fracking will cut bills and create jobs, Viewsbank research shows
A nationwide study by Viewsbank shows consumers will need to be persuaded to support the Government’s efforts to boost the shale gas industry by offering a business rates windfall to local council approving projects in their areas. Under the scheme councils would be allowed to keep 100% of business rates collected from shale sites compared with the current 50% and Prime Minister David Cameron has said the Government is “going all out for shale”.
However, the results reveal that just 18% would definitely support fracking near their home – although another 40% would potentially support fracking if they knew more about the process.
Support rises however the further away fracking is from the person’s home – 37% would definitely support fracking in other countries and 33% would definitely back it in other parts of the UK.
Making the case for lower energy and job creation are key to winning support for fracking, the research found. Around 67% of adults would support fracking if it delivered lower bills and 65% would support it if created jobs. Around 65% would back fracking if it was proved to be important for delivering future energy needs.
But the research shows only 39% of consumers believe fracking will cut household energy bills compared with 41% who believe it will cause environmental damage.
Viewsbank’s studies found just 10% of consumers consider themselves well-informed about fracking while 22% have never heard of the process despite the recent protests and media focus. The research shows 50% say they know a bit about fracking while 18% have heard of it but know nothing about it.
David Black of Viewsbank commented: “The fracking debate has been widely aired in the media but it is clear that many people do not consider themselves particularly well-informed. Proponents and opponents can both take positives from the research.
“Many remain undecided but there is a definite undercurrent that people are happy to support fracking just as long as it is not in their backyard.”
The table below shows views for and against fracking – depending on where it happens
SUPPORT FOR FRACKING
MAYBE – NEED TO KNOW MORE
NOT SURE/ DON’T CARE
UK - but not near
where I live
Near where I live
The risks of environmental damage are regarded as the main reasons for opposing fracking – 69% say they would be opposed if there was a risk of water contamination while 63% say the risk of earth tremors would convince them to oppose fracking. Around 51% say the noise and inconvenience for locals would make them oppose fracking.
The research shows 32% of consumers believe fracking will cause earth tremors in the UK and 30% believe it will contaminate water supplies.
If you weren’t able to take part in this survey then feel free to comment here. . .