More than half of Brits think drilling for shale gas should go ahead, with just 16 percent opposed, according to a new Populus poll for UK Onshore Oil and Gas.
The survey of 4,000 adults also found high support for reducing Britain’s reliance on foreign energy, with two thirds saying Britain should not be dependent on imported gas and oil.
The survey represents one of the largest polls on the issue of shale gas and fracking. If shale gas is developed alongside renewable energy, support rises to 59 percent with only 12 percent disagreeing.
The government has recently proposed changing land access laws to allow fracking companies to freely drill under private land provided it is beneath 1000 feet. The poll found that although most people support these changes, they have not yet won over majority support: 42 percent agree with the proposed law change, while just 16 percent disagreed.
Ken Cronin, chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas said: “This survey shows that most people across the country think that shale gas should be developed. More than four out of five of us heat our homes with gas, and Britain’s shale resource gives us the opportunity to become less dependent on foreign energy supplies, create tens of thousands of jobs and support our manufacturing industries.
“Shale gas and renewables are complementary, and our survey confirms that the public would like to see a balanced mix that includes both sources of energy. Whilst these results are positive, our industry needs to continue to do all it can to listen to and engage with views of local communities.”