DECC Wave 22 shows support for Fracking crashing to a new low
Today the government belatedly posted the results of its BEIS wave research. This is a series of polls which has been asking questions about energy on a quarterly basis since March 2012 and about shale gas specifically since Wave 8 in December 2013.
Today’s results show support for fracking crashing to a new low of 16% (split as support 14% and strongly support down to 2% – both record lows) whilst opposition is growing and is now up to a record high of 33% (split as strongly oppose 13% and oppose 20%).
Support for fracking has declined by almost 25% over the last 12 months (21% down to 16%).
The % of people neither supporting nor opposing remained fairly constant at 49%. This figure has hovered around 50% since the polling began.
The trend is evident as opposition can be seen to be bearing down on support and crushing it – this industry continues to lose support day by day in spite of efforts to alternately buy local support and to beat local opposition to the floor using the sledgehammer of legal injunctions.
It is clear that their attempts to demonise protest are backfiring and that this industry has about as much chance of getting a social licence as I have of winning the lottery (spoiler alert: I never buy tickets).
Interestingly many those that expressed an opinion in favour of fracking cited jobs, lower bills and using less fossil fuels as reasons. These arguments are pushed by the fracking PR machine but are almost totally without substance, so as people are made aware of the truth we should see a further decline in support as the scales fall from people’s eyes.
By far the largest (and growing) reason for support was “Loss/destruction of natural environment” – up from 55% last year to 68% this year, so we can expect a PR push from Cuadrilla telling us how green fracking is and how it won’t industrialise the country side (second spoiler alert: It isn’t and it will)