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The structure of attitudes towards shale gas extraction in the United Kingdom

Andersson-Hudson, Jessica; Rose, Jonathan; Humphrey, Mathew; Knight, Wil; O'Hara, Sarah


Jessica Andersson-Hudson

Jonathan Rose

Wil Knight

SARAH O'HARA sarah.o'
Ceo University of Nottingham Online


© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Shale gas extraction is a highly controversial process. Despite significant proven or potential reserves, public reaction to extraction have often been negative. In some cases, this has prevented exploration. In this paper, we investigate the structure of public attitudes to shale gas extraction in the context of the United Kingdom, using a dedicated survey of 4992 respondents. We find that public attitudes to shale gas extraction have a unidimensional structure, such that all questions about the virtues and limitations of extraction are treated as a single issue. Nonetheless, this general structure masks two distinct attitudinal structures. Those with more familiarity with shale gas have a very strong unidimensional attitudinal structure, while those with the least familiarity have a two-dimensional attitudinal structure; representing distinctions between perceived positive and negative attributes. This suggests an important role for information in conditioning responses to shale gas, a factor with implications for how government addresses policy relating to shale gas extraction.


Andersson-Hudson, J., Rose, J., Humphrey, M., Knight, W., & O'Hara, S. (2019). The structure of attitudes towards shale gas extraction in the United Kingdom. Energy Policy, 129, 693-697.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Feb 20, 2019
Online Publication Date Mar 2, 2019
Publication Date 2019-06
Deposit Date Apr 12, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 3, 2020
Journal Energy Policy
Print ISSN 0301-4215
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 129
Pages 693-697
Keywords General Energy; Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This article is maintained by: Elsevier; Article Title: The structure of attitudes towards shale gas extraction in the United Kingdom; Journal Title: Energy Policy; CrossRef DOI link to publisher maintained version:; Content Type: article; Copyright: © 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


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