Professor Harthorn & Researcher Partridge in the Current

The Fracking Debate
U.S. and U.K. share a similar mindset when it comes to horizontal drilling for shale energy, say UCSB researchers and colleagues
While an entire ocean separates the United States from the United Kingdom, when the issue of fracking arises, the great divide — philosophically speaking — narrows considerably.
Concerns about short-term and long-term impacts of horizontal drilling for shale energy are prevalent in both countries. According to a new study by UC Santa Barbara researchers and colleagues, key issues include the risk of water contamination as well as preferences
for renewable energy sources over fossil fuels to meet national energy needs.
Drawing on more than a decade of research developed by UCSB’s Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS) and Cardiff University in Wales, the study demonstrates how deliberative public engagement methods can be applied to these aims. This is the first qualitative, interdisciplinary, cross-national study of U.S. and U.K. public perceptions of shale extraction. The results appear in the journal Nature Energy.