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Public Attitudes towards Hydraulic Fracturing in Western Newfoundland

Abstract : Hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is an emerging "unconventional" technology in the oil and gas (OG) exploitation sector linked to high levels of uncertainty. In this paper, we examine the level of support for fracking in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (NL). This province is also one of the regions of the country in which fracking could be performed and whose economy could substantially benefit from the availability of this new source of energy resources. However, there remain serious obstacles to the social acceptability of fracking among the people of NL and, in particular, the prospect of fracking in Western Newfoundland (WNL) is a highly controversial issue. This area hosts one of the most highly valuable natural areas in the province (Gros Morne National Park). We identify key factors to oppose or support fracking. Using a multinomial logit model, we characterize different groups of citizens who oppose or support fracking and also other 'conventional' extractive technologies. Institutional issues, environmental risks, and socioeconomic factors will be considered when explaining attitudes towards fracking. Further understanding the acceptability of this 'unconventional' technology should help public regulators make decisions and design optimal policies in the OG extraction sector.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, April 7, 2021 - 11:17:03 AM
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Roberto Martínez-Espiñeira, María A. García-Valiñas, David Matesanz. Public Attitudes towards Hydraulic Fracturing in Western Newfoundland. Energy Economics, Elsevier, 2019, 84, pp.104492. ⟨10.1016/j.eneco.2019.104492⟩. ⟨hal-03191504⟩



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