While Mr. Stewart presented no real evidence to support his conclusion, his suspicions appear to make sense. After all, the world is much more aware of hydraulic fracturing and its impact on the environment, job creation, and U.S. energy policy than it was even a scant two or three years ago.
For the past two years, my firm has been benchmarking public sentiment with regard to hydraulic fracturing as part of our work in the industry. Here at ground zero, in Pennsylvania, public opinion about hydraulic fracturing, and how it’s transforming our economy, is front and center on political, environmental, and economic agendas.
That’s why it’s important to be accurate in our assessment of the topic and to provide clear estimates of how the winds of public sentiment are blowing. Surprisingly, research shows that the industry, while at first slow to foresee and respond to negative public perception, has made significant progress in telling an accurate, positive story about an energy source that is cleaner, abundant, and domestically controlled.
Mr. Stewart is calling on the industry to do more to educate the public as to the benefits of hydraulic fracturing and its limited risks, and to do it through a multi-prong approach.