The Shale Gas Debate: How Industry and Environmental Messages Stack Up


Dec. 6, 2013

Event Series


Event Details

Resources for the Future (RFF) invites you to a briefing on how messaging from the shale gas industry and environmental organizations affects the public’s attitudes toward shale gas development.

Recently, US Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell called upon industry to provide better information to the public about the fracking process. She said the public debate is “confused” and “not well-informed,” stating that industry is responsible for making sure “that the public understand what [fracking] is, how it’s done, and why it’s safe.” Industry has also recognized the need to raise the public’s comfort level, especially in states such as Colorado, where three cities recently approved bans or moratoriums on hydraulic fracturing. New research at RFF shows that industry will need to provide not just more information, but better information if it is to improve public confidence.

This briefing will examine survey results about the public’s level of concern regarding the potential environmental and health risks associated with shale gas development, and how much people value reducing such risks—how much they are willing to pay in increased taxes, utility bills, and so on to reduce those risks. The briefing will also show how different sources of information (industry and environmental) affect people’s attitudes and beliefs about shale gas development in their states.

This briefing is based on a new survey conducted by RFF researchers of a random sample of individuals in Pennsylvania, where residents are still adjusting to the boom in shale gas development and drilling in their state, and in Texas, where residents are more accustomed to these types of energy development activities.

Speakers for this briefing:


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