Support for natural gas generation still strong in U.S.

As natural gas-fired generation continues to trend upward in the U.S., a new poll suggests that the fossil fuel has managed to maintain a largely positive view among the American population. 

Harris Interactive surveyed more than 2,000 adults across the country in early February about their views on energy sources ranging from natural gas generation to nuclear power

Despite a year that saw a number of controversies surrounding natural gas - particularly about the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in production - the survey suggests the U.S. populace remains largely supportive of greater use of natural gas. 

Around 66 percent of respondents felt that the benefits of natural gas generation outweigh the risks, behind only solar power and wind power. Meanwhile, only 17 percent of respondents felt the risk outweigh the benefits. Both of these represent a negligible change since 2009. 

At the same time, opinions about coal-fired generation have actually improved some, though both approval and disapproval hover around 40 percent. 

Ultimately, while opinions vary based on age and political affiliation, senior research executive Sarah Simmons suggests that support for natural gas largely stems from its important role in keeping electricity costs low. 

More information on falling costs of natural gas can be found at PennEnergy's Research area.

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