Public Policies, Social Perception and Media Content on Fracking: An Analysis in the Spanish Context

Main Article Content

Emilia Hermelinda Lopera-Pareja
Ana Garcia Laso
Domingo Alfonso Martin-Sanchez

Abstract

Energy supply and security is a topic that connects geoscience and ethics to economic, social and sustainable development. It also involves a wide range of interests and social actors, such as politicians, experts, industry, environmental NGO and citizen organizations and platforms. The fossil fuel extraction industry using hydraulic fracturing, and commonly known as fracking, is one of the most recent and controversial issues arising from the application of energy technologies in North America, South America and Europe. This paper examines the public debate in Spain on the topic of fracking from a multi-level and complementary perspective, based on data collected during 2012-2016 by exploring the development of public policies at national and regional levels, monitoring public perception through a survey, and analyzing the media content. From the theoretical frameworks of social amplification of risk and post-materialist values, a content analysis was applied to assess the relevance and the social, cultural and human values distributed by the press when dealing with fracking in Spain.

Our results concerning public policies show that there are different positions on the matter between national and regional authorities, even if both authorities belong to the same political party. Regarding social perception, almost 60 per cent of Spaniards have admitted to having no opinion about fracking. Finally, media discourse has been driven by pessimistic views, focused mainly on cost-benefit analysis and emphasizing how human health, natural resources and local communities might be negatively affected by fracking activities.

Article Details

How to Cite
1.
Lopera-Pareja EH, Garcia Laso A, Martin-Sanchez DA. Public Policies, Social Perception and Media Content on Fracking: An Analysis in the Spanish Context. Ann. Geophys. [Internet]. 2017Oct.5 [cited 2021Dec.4];60. Available from: https://www.annalsofgeophysics.eu/index.php/annals/article/view/7360
Section
SPECIAL ISSUE: Geoethics at the heart of all geoscience
Author Biography

Emilia Hermelinda Lopera-Pareja, Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT)

Faculty Member at Research Unit on Scientific Culture - Centro de Investigaciones Energéticas, Medioambientales y Tecnológicas (CIEMAT)