There is more opposition than support for fracking, especially among those who know about the controversial process.
That’s according to the government’s latest survey, which revealed only 15% claimed to know a lot about it compared to 43% saying they knew a little and 16% saying they were aware of it but didn’t really know what it was.
More than half (53%) of those who said they knew a lot about fracking were against it compared to 33% who said they were in favour.
Among those who knew a little about it, opposition outstripped support by 40% to 26%,
Out of the 496 people asked who supported fracking, the three most common reasons were the need to use all available energy sources, reducing dependence on conventional fossil fuels and imports, the poll found.
Out of the 596 people asked who opposed fracking, the common reason by far was the loss/destruction of the environment (61%). Others included risk of contamination to water supply and fracking being too much of a risk or uncertainty to support at present, it adds.
Awareness was higher for over 45s (87%), those who earned more than £35,000 (87%) and males (81%) and people living in rural areas (81%).
Last year the government’s proposal to frack under national parks was backed by MPs at the House of Commons.
The survey of more than 2,000 people however found huge support for renewables, with 79% backing it and only 4% opposing the energy source.
When asked about nuclear energy, more than a third (36%) supported it compared to 21% who were against it, DECC added.