Poll: Most US Consumers Unfamiliar With Hydraulic Fracturing

Poll: Most US Consumers Unfamiliar With Hydraulic Fracturing

HOUSTON - Despite having unleashed a natural gas supply boom that is transforming the U.S. energy landscape and receiving extensive attention from the media, the practice of hydraulic fracturing is unfamiliar to most consumers, according to a poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin.

The poll, released Tuesday, showed that 62 percent of the people surveyed said they weren't familiar with hydraulic fracturing or "have never heard of it." The practice, which consists of cracking natural gas-rich rock formations open with high-pressure jets of liquid, has helped create a glut of natural gas in the U.S. but has resulted in controversy, as some environmentalists say that the technique can contaminate acquifers. The oil industry denies that claim.

When asked to describe how they feel about the rules governing "fracking," as the technique is known, about 38 percent of the respondents said they favor more regulation. About 14 percent said there is too much regulation.

The UT survey is a twice-annual survey of energy issues. About 2,371 people responded to the poll. The majority--65 percent--said that energy issues are important to them, and 61 percent said they would vote for a candidate who would back increased natural gas development.

A majority of respondents also backed further investment in renewable energy. About half of them said they were in favor of the Keystone XL pipeline expansion, a project that would bring additional Canadian crude to the U.S. Gulf Coast, but that is heavily opposed by environmentalists. The project is currently being reviewed by the U.S. State Department.

Copyright (c) 2012 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.


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rashid oweineh | Apr. 12, 2012
great i like this information

Gunther Larssen | Apr. 12, 2012
Why would any consumer know or care about a technical process in this industry? Is it surprising, at all, that consumers do not know of every single technique for extracting resources from the ground? I hope not. If the industry feels compelled to change impressions originating from misinformed media and/or educate consumers, they better get busy now. The media alone will "inform" consumers and we all know how that will resolve - inaccuracies will abound. This issue is hopefully a wakeup call for the industry to be proactive. Industry leaders will either formulate a clear message, or allow the media to dictate what consumers hear - with potentially disastrous results. Industry leaders without a voice in the market could lead to fracking becoming the next totally false "plastic gun" media circus that Glock went through several years ago. (For those who dont remember, the Glock pistol was constructed of plastic and metal. The media told the world that this new plastic gun would easily get through xray machines and jeopardize the safety of all airline passengers. They neglected to say that 75% of the weight of the gun is metal - including the barrel and slide.) GL

mk savage | Apr. 12, 2012
keep fracking. expand keystone xl. spend $ on petro-fracking techniques that save water, are more efficient and have less environmental impact ... and develop vehicles that burn CNG INSTEAD of electric. Why burn NG to make kilowatts to run cars, when you can run cars on the NG??? Nat Gas is our greatest energy resource and we need to leverage it.

Peter Liggett | Apr. 11, 2012
Well considering the USA has sold it's right to be the number one manufacturing country in the world, it needs oil and gas jobs to offset the multitude of horrendous service jobs ,which pay garbage money, that some people believe, are a good substitute for the factory/manufacturing industry, they have replaced. These jobs actually pay a good middle class wage.


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