The American people are well-informed about the benefits of natural gas and industry leaders must continue to educate them about this clean-burning abundant domestic resource and the role it will play in our nation’s future.
In a new survey conducted by the Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions, 62 % of national respondents associate the word “clean” with natural gas from shale formations– making it the top association over other words.
47 % said “reliable”, 41 % said “domestic”, 40 % said “affordable” and 38 % said “abundant”.
This survey seems to indicate that positive perception of natural gas is growing rapidly, just like our supply of this abundant energy source. Domestic dry natural gas production in the United States increased 27% from January 2006 to August 2011. The primary reason for this extraordinary increase has come in the form of significant quantities of shale gas. Today, gas from shale makes up 32 % of total daily gas production.
- 83 % of respondents in the survey agree that natural gas development can stimulate job growth in the United States.
- 79 % believe the development of natural gas resources can help revitalize the economies of the states and communities where shale gas is located.
- 47 % of national respondents believe shale is “extremely” or “very” impactful on energy independence.
The United States possesses a 100-year supply of natural gas and is the largest producer of this clean-burning energy source in the world. If we develop this resource in a responsible manner, natural gas will play a key role in our nation’s energy future, and by extension our economic future.
The survey results point to the growing perception of the need for responsible development.
- 37 % of national respondents report being “not very” or “not at all” familiar with hydraulic fracturing – and 23 % “never heard of hydraulic fracturing”, the process used to extract natural gas from shale.
- 58 % of national respondents with at least some degree of familiarity with shale gas development are aware of potential water contamination issues.
- 49 % know about the potential for surface-land impact issues.
- 58 % believe the benefits outweigh the risks; and almost 25 % are unsure.
The survey consisted of 1,694 online interviews conducted in November 2011 with adults age 21 to 74 and examined three different audience segments: residents of areas where shale gas development is an established phenomenon, specifically Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas (537 respondents); residents of areas where shale is a newer phenomenon, specifically New York (89 respondents in New York City and 162 in western New York State) and Pennsylvania (243 respondents); and finally, the survey canvassed an additional 663 respondents in the United States nationally.