Fracking in the American Mind

Research from Yale and George Mason University finds that most Americans have heard little or nothing about fracking and those who have formed an opinion are more or less evenly split between support and opposition.


Fracking is spurring expanded oil and natural gas development in the U.S., however a nationally representative survey shows that Americans remain largely undecided about whether they support or oppose the process.


  • Most Americans have heard little or nothing about fracking.

  • Among those with an opinion about fracking, a slim majority think it’s bad.

  • Many Americans do not know or are undecided about fracking.

  • Americans who’ve made a decision about fracking are evenly split between support and opposition.

  • More men than women support fracking; women are more undecided.

  • Hispanic/non-White respondents are more undecided about fracking than non-Hispanic/White respondents.

  • Older respondents are more supportive of fracking than younger respondents.

  • Those with more education are more likely to take a position on fracking.

  • Conservatives are more likely to support fracking, liberals are more likely to oppose it.

  • Northeastern and Western residents are more opposed to fracking than Midwestern and Southern residents.

  • Fracking opponents associate the process with environmental impacts. Fracking supporters focus on economics and energy independence.

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