“Fracking” in the American Mind: Americans’ Views on Hydraulic Fracturing in September 2012

In our September 2012 Climate Change in the American Mind survey, we asked respondents to answer a series of questions about hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking" as the process is commonly known. This issue has proven to be very controversial in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. Proponents and opponents debate potential impacts on the economy, energy supply, public health, the environment, and communities.

Today we are releasing an extensive analysis of the findings from those survey questions. We find that, surprisingly, Americans have limited familiarity with this issue. Fewer than half of American adults have developed an opinion in support or in opposition to it. The minority who have formed an opinion are more or less evenly split between supporters and opponents. We also found that respondents who are female, younger, and liberal are more likely to be opposed. Additionally, Americans who support hydraulic fracturing associate it with economic and energy supply impacts; opponents associate it with environmental impacts. The report can be downloaded here: "Fracking" in the American Mind: Americans' Views on Hydraulic Fracturing in September, 2012.