Proximity to Development and Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing

23 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2017 Last revised: 3 Jun 2017

See all articles by Hilary Boudet

Hilary Boudet

Oregon State University - School of Public Policy

Chad Zanocco

Oregon State University - School of Public Policy

Peter Howe

Utah State University - Department of Environment and Society

Christopher Clarke

George Mason University

Date Written: January 12, 2017

Abstract

Research on the relationship between proximity to energy development and public support for development has produced conflicting results. Understanding this relationship in the context of unconventional oil and gas development via hydraulic fracturing becomes even murkier because of limited data on well locations. Drawing on a unique dataset that includes geo-coded data from nationally representative surveys and high-resolution well location data, we examine how proximity to new unconventional oil and gas wells shapes familiarity with and support for hydraulic fracturing. We show that proximity to new development is linked to both greater familiarity with and more support for hydraulic fracturing – a relationship that is similar in magnitude to the marginal effects of income, gender and age. We discuss the implications of these findings for effective risk communication, as well as the importance of incorporating spatial analysis into public opinion research on public perceptions of energy development.

Keywords: Unconventional Oil and Gas; Hydraulic Fracturing; Public Opinion; Proximity

Suggested Citation

Boudet, Hilary and Zanocco, Chad and Howe, Peter and Clarke, Christopher, Proximity to Development and Public Support for Hydraulic Fracturing (January 12, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2893307 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2893307

Hilary Boudet (Contact Author)

Oregon State University - School of Public Policy ( email )

Corvallis, OR 97333
United States

Chad Zanocco

Oregon State University - School of Public Policy ( email )

Corvallis, OR 97333
United States

Peter Howe

Utah State University - Department of Environment and Society ( email )

Logan, UT 84322
United States

Christopher Clarke

George Mason University ( email )

4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States

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