Natural gas – friend or foe of the environment? Evaluating the framing contest over natural gas through a public opinion survey in the Pacific Northwest

Abstract: A fierce debate is raging about the role of natural gas in North America’s energy mix. Once viewed as a bridge fuel for renewable energy, it is increasingly being characterized as hindering the energy transition. We explore public opinions about natural gas, its use and export, among residents in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. While many of our respondents supported the continued use of natural gas in electricity generation and viewed it as relatively environmentally friendly, they did not feel that the benefits of fracking (increasingly the main source of natural gas production) outweigh its risks. Males, political conservatives, those who prioritized the economy over the environment, and those who didn’t subscribe to anthropogenic global warming felt more favorably toward natural gas. Furthermore, those who saw gas as more environmentally friendly were more supportive of gas usage and export, while those with pro-environmental views were less likely to support it.

Olson Hazboun, Shawn; Schaffer Boudet, Hilary
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Environmental Sociology, Vol. 7, Issue 4, 2021
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