The widespread use of hydraulic fracturing in the natural gas industry in the United States has led to criticism by environmentalists and the public who see the process as threatening both the quality and quantity of local water supplies. However, there has been little research directed to assessing the extent to which citizens believe they are familiar with the process of hydraulic fracturing and little analysis dealing with the correlates of subjects’ sociodemographic characteristics with such familiarity or its effects on individual’s support or opposition to natural gas drilling. The current note examines these issues using data from a 2012 study of 800 residents in the core area of the Marcellus natural gas region in Pennsylvania. Substantive and methodological implications of the findings are discussed, as are suggestions for future research.

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