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Who Wants To Export Natural Gas?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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My last post highlighted how over six months, support for exporting natural gas has increased as opposition decreased. Thirty-four percent of Americans agreed with the statement, “The U.S. should permit the export of natural gas to other countries,” while 30 percent disagreed and 36 percent were neutral. My guess is that most of the country is still not likely paying much attention.

Now let’s dig deeper. The data collected is weighted to reflect U.S. census demographics so we can find out more about how opinion varies across the nation. Here’s a look at those who agreed that we should export natural gas broken down by gender, income, and party affiliation:

Source: UT Energy Poll September 2013. Base: 2,144 All results based on weighted data. Methodology here.

The first thing I notice is that support for exporting natural gas looks a lot like the data across broad energy issues. Women tend to be less engaged than men. High earners are more likely to follow energy topics closely compared to those earning less. And as a group, Libertarians are more likely to be watching energy issues than those from other political parties.

Right now it appears that the Americans who are most focused on energy topics are also more likely to support exporting natural gas. Still, it’s important to note that this data was collected prior to the current situation in Ukraine. The latest poll results from March 2014 will be available in a few weeks, so we’ll be able explore new data on public sentiment regarding natural gas–and many other critical energy topics–very soon!

This post originally appeared at Scientific American’s ‘Plugged In

Sheril Kirshenbaum About the Author: Sheril Kirshenbaum is Director of The Energy Poll at The University of Texas at Austin where she works to enhance public understanding of energy issues and improve communication between scientists, policymakers, and the public. Follow on Twitter @Sheril_.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. jtdwyer 9:02 pm 03/14/2014

    Perhaps the question asked should be:
    Would you welcome frackers in you neighborhood?
    Perhaps then more people would pay attention to the issues involved…

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  2. 2. Owl905 9:22 pm 03/14/2014

    The US should free up exports of oil and natural gas to the extent that it shortens supply lines or assists allies. Oil from the mid-west is a natural to export to eastern Canada (they’re already seeking approval to reverse the flow of the St. Lawrence pipeline). The US should export to Europe to compete with the Russian supply source, reducing the economic and political exposure the Russians have exploited.
    Beyond that, the US is following the proper course – help local areas exploit their own ‘hard’ resources (example: China).
    The technology is now available to localize and diversify the energy mix – building an energy export empire is very 20th century.

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  3. 3. jtdwyer 12:52 am 03/15/2014

    So you think that we should incur the high environmental impact of extraction in order to wield global political power? No, thanks!

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  4. 4. richsix 3:53 am 03/15/2014

    Deplete our resources faster and raise prices for Americans. There’s a win win.

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  5. 5. tuned 11:00 am 03/15/2014

    How much pollution would be generated trying to move our gas to them?
    Not worth it.

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  6. 6. singing flea 7:45 pm 03/15/2014

    It’s no coincidence that, libertarians, republicans are in favor of selling our natural resources and polluting our environment more than the Democrats. It’s what they do best. Conservation is the last thing a conservative want’s to support.

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