Fracking cash offer ‘has not won support’

Fracking is due to begin at the Cuadrilla gas site, Preese Hall in Weeton.
Fracking is due to begin at the Cuadrilla gas site, Preese Hall in Weeton.
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Environmentalists say only a third of people would support fracking in their area, even if households were given a £10,000 incentive.

A survey from Friends of the Earth says despite the Government’s strong backing of shale gas extraction, most people are still wary of the controversial process.

The group said a YouGov survey has shown that only 33 per cent of people polled would support fracking in their local area even if households were paid up to £10,000, 43 per cent ‘strongly’ or ‘tend to’ oppose fracking and 25 per cent remained ‘unsure’.

Liz Hutchins, Friends of the Earth senior political strategist, said: “The government is desperate to show support for shale gas exploration, and recent headlines that offered cash payments were meant to bolster, not diminish, support.

“But when you look at the details of the scheme, any cash for households would only be after shale exploration, and would be derived from taxation on profits. It all seems a pretty unlikely and distant proposition.

“What we do know is that the more people learn about fracking and what it could mean for their health and environment, the more opposed they could be. And it’s clear from this survey that they haven’t been fooled by the Government’s latest bribe.”

But local businessman and member of the pro-fracking Lancashire for Shale group Steve Pye said: “This is just more spin from ideological activists. Despite asking a highly leading question, less than half (43 per cent) of people surveyed at a national level said they agree with FOE’s position. Lancashire’s residents and businesses will rightly see through this as a political push poll, rather than an actual scientific study of public opinion.”