The benefits of “fracking” have never been greater. Prices are lower and the country is emitting less CO2. Yet most people now oppose fracking. What gives?
A Gallup poll taken in early March shows that 51% of Americans say they oppose fracking “as a means of increasing production of natural gas and oil in the U.S.” That’s up from 40% just one year ago.
Even more surprising, the drop in overall support is largely the result of a shift among Republicans. While 66% supported fracking last year, a bare majority (55%) do now. Support was steady among independents (35% vs. 34%) and Democrats (26% vs 25%).
Gallup speculates that lower gas prices and a decline in the share of Americans worried about energy shortages are behind the decline.
This makes absolutely no sense.
The drop in gasoline prices is a direct result of fracking, which has turned the U.S. into an oil producing giant. In fact, the drop in gasoline prices compared with 2014 will save the average household $1,000 this year, on top of the $660 saved last year.
Natural gas prices are also at historic lows thanks to fracking, which is lowering heating bills and the cost of goods and services throughout the economy.
A report from the consulting firm IHS finds that the average household had an additional $2,000 in disposable income last year because of lower energy prices, which it says will climb to $2,700 in 2020 and $3,500 in 2025.