Partisanship and Proximity Predict Opposition to Fracking in Colorado

A detailed analysis of community perceptions of oil and gas development in Colorado, using real-world voting data.

View Journal Article


Feb. 9, 2020


Daniel Raimi, Alan Krupnick, and Morgan Bazilian


Journal Article in Energy Research & Social Science

Reading time

1 minute


Oil and gas development has grown rapidly in recent years in the United States, generating substantial debate over its risks and benefits. A large body of research has surveyed individuals living in and around producing regions to evaluate their views on the industry, with somewhat mixed results. Here, we present the first detailed analysis on this topic using real-world voting data, drawing from precinct-level results of a 2018 election in Colorado that included a vote on Proposition 112, which would have set very large setback requirements on new oil and gas activity. We find partisan affiliation correlates very strongly with support for oil and gas development, that voters in precincts with higher levels of oil and gas activity are modestly more supportive of the industry, but that this support weakens in precincts where development has grown most rapidly.


Related Content