Support in the UK for fracking appears to be falling, according to a new survey.
The ongoing study from the University of Nottingham claims that support for fracking has fallen to 49.7 per cent, compared with a high of 58.2 per cent in July 2013, with 31 per cent saying it should not be allowed.
And it claims it shows that the turn against shale gas in the UK has deepened, with -16.6 per cent of people concerned about contamination of drinking water, which rose after the Balcombe protest.
Professor Sarah O’Hara said: “These trends suggest that the turn against fracking following the Balcombe protests is not a blip and is representative of an increasing sense of unease of the environmental implications.”
However a spokesman for Cuadrilla Resources, the company which is exploring for shale gas under the Fylde, said the poll held some positives. He said: “Overall the poll shows that those in favour of shale gas continues to significantly exceed those opposed.
“Over 18 per cent more people support the extraction of shale gas in the UK than oppose it. However, we do recognise that we can’t be complacent in continuing to inform people about the benefits of shale gas and also address any concerns they may have about potential environmental impacts. With regard to our two proposed shale gas exploration sites in Lancashire, we are confident that the environmental impact assessments Arup have conducted are world class and will help people understand that the risks involved are low.”
Helen Rimmer, from North West Friends of the Earth said: “Despite the huge push from Government and frackers to promote the industry, this survey shows that public support is falling. As more communities wake up to the threat that fracking puts on their environment, the more opposition is rising.”