While carbon capture and storage (CCS) is considered to be critical to achieving long-term climate-protection goals, public concerns about the CCS practice could pose significant obstacles to its deployment. This study reports findings from the first state-wide survey of public perceptions of CCS in a coal-intensive state, with an analysis of which factors predict early attitudes toward CCS. Nearly three-quarters of an Indiana sample (N=1,001) agree that storing carbon underground is a good approach to protecting the environment, despite 80% of the sample being unaware of CCS prior to participation in the two-wave survey. The majority of respondents do not hold strong opinions about CCS technology. Multivariate analyses indicate that support for CCS is predicted by a belief that humankind contributes to climate change, a preference for increased use of renewable energy, and egalitarian and individualistic worldviews, while opposition to CCS is predicted by self-identified political conservatism and by selective attitudes regarding energy and climate change. Knowledge about early impressions of CCS can help inform near-term technology decisions at state regulatory agencies, utilities, and pipeline companies, but follow-up surveys are necessary to assess how public sentiments evolve in response to image-building efforts with different positions on coal and CCS.
Early public impressions of terrestrial carbon capture and storage in a coal-intensive state.Environmental Science and Technology (2012)
Citation InformationCarley, Sanya R., Rachel M. Krause David C. Warren, John A. Rupp and John D. Graham. (forthcoming) “Early public impressions of terrestrial carbon capture and storage in a coal-intensive state.” Environmental Science and Technology.