The Structure of Attitudes Towards Shale Gas Extraction in the United Kingdom
Shale gas extraction is a highly controversial process. Despite significant proven or potential reserves, public reaction to extraction have often been negative. In some cases, this has prevented exploration. In this paper, we investigate the structure of public attitudes to shale gas extraction in the context of the United Kingdom, using a dedicated survey of 4992 respondents. We find that public attitudes to shale gas extraction have a unidimensional structure, such that all questions about the virtues and limitations of extraction are treated as a single issue. Nonetheless, this general structure masks two distinct attitudinal structures. Those with more familiarity with shale gas have a very strong unidimensional attitudinal structure, while those with the least familiarity have a two-dimensional attitudinal structure; representing distinctions between perceived positive and negative attributes. This suggests an important role for information in conditioning responses to shale gas, a factor with implications for how government addresses policy relating to shale gas extraction.
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Citation : Andersson-Hudson, J., Rose, J., Humphrey, M., Knight, W., O'Hara, S. (2019) The Structure of Attitudes Towards Shale Gas Extraction in the United Kingdom, Energy Policy, 129, pp.693-697.
Peer Reviewed : Yes