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Americans on Fracking, Climate, Energy


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A summary of the spring 2012 results from the University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll, written by Sheril Kirshenbaum.
Dot Earth "Your Dot" posts:
UT Energy Poll:

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Americans on Fracking, Climate, Energy

  1. 1. A Dot Earth “Your Dot” contribution from Sheril Kirshenbaum, the director of the University of Texas at Austin Energy Poll:In the most recent round of the Energy Poll out of the University of Texas at Austin, nearly 2,400 people--representative of the U.S. based oncensus data--were surveyed about energy consumption, pricing, development and regulation.Sixty-three percent of respondents reported they had “never heard of” or were “not familiar” with hydraulic fracturing. Just 32 percentcalled themselves “familiar,” leaving 5 percent who answered more ambiguously, “neither.” In other words, fracking is a case where the
  2. 2. public lags behind the science and the technology, so we are left with a highly controversial topic that few Americans understand. But thistechnology is not only a big deal; it’s already changing the international energy landscape.Nearly two-thirds of respondents acknowledge that global climate change is occurring.When the same question is broken down by party affiliation, the notorious partisan divide emerges.
  3. 3. Do you think climate change is or is not occurring?We asked those respondents who chose “is occurring” to consider a series of factors from deforestation to fossil fuel use and rate howsignificantly they believe each contributes to global climate change. Here is a look at “Natural Forces (not manmade)” broken down bypolitical affiliation:
  4. 4. Natural Forces (not manmade) and Global Climate ChangeThese are just snapshots of what we have been learning through the UT Energy Poll. The more we understand about public attitudes andopinions on energy issues, the better prepared we will be to address questions, educate, and move toward more informed policy decisions.