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Institute for Science, Technology and Public Policy

The Bush School of Government and Public Service

Texas A&M University
1112 Allen Building
4350 TAMU College Station, Texas 77843-4350

ISTPP Researchers Present Energy Policy Studies at Multiple Conferences

ISTPP staff, fellows, and other researchers presented recently completed studies at various academic conferences earlier this year. Their research uses results from the Institute’s 2012 National Energy Policy Survey.

Bullock, Justin. 2015. “Framing and Policy Support for Hydraulic Fracturing: A Survey Experiment.” Paper presented at the 73rd annual meeting of the Midwest Political Science Association, Chicago, Illinois, April 16–19. Co-authored with Arnold Vedlitz. Dr. Bullock also presented a variation of this paper at the Southern Political Science Association meeting in January. The researchers examine the relationship between issue framing and public opinion using a unique survey-experiment of vignettes embedded in the ISTPP National Energy Policy Survey. These vignettes present information sources of various credibility asking whether the survey respondents would support or oppose hydraulic fracturing or fracking, depending on the framing being used, if it posed a risk to the local community. The vignettes varied this risk by posing different odds for the extraction technique resulting in a release of cancer-causing chemicals into the local water supply. The influences of these variables along with self-reported knowledge and political ideology on support for either hydraulic fracturing or fracking are examined.

Shreck, Brian. 2015. “Perceived Risk, Uncertainty, and Policy Preferences on Hydraulic Fracturing.” Paper presented at the 86th annual meeting of the Southern Political Science Association, New Orleans, Louisiana, January 15–17. Co-authored with Arnold Vedlitz. Public opinion about the risks, uncertainty and preferred policies for hydraulic fracturing is developing. The researchers use the data from the ISTPP National Energy Policy Survey to delineate the factors that influence public opinion on this critical energy issue. They find that policy preferences are influenced by perceptions of risk, trust in government regulators and oil companies, and sources of information used. Policy preferences are also tempered by ideology as well as concern about national security and the economy, influencing acceptance of risks related to fracking.

Stoutenborough, James W. 2015. “Energetic Women: Evaluating STEM Initiatives on Women’s Energy Knowledge.” Western Political Science Association, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2–4. Co-authored with K. Lange, Kellee Kirkpatrick, and Arnold Vedlitz. The researchers evaluate the effectiveness of federal STEM education initiatives designed to decrease the gender gap in these fields and to determine whether STEM initiatives had a long-term influence on this knowledge that may not be captured by traditional measures of STEM education. Using results from the 2012 ISTPP National Energy Policy Survey, they analyze women’s objective knowledge of energy issues using a nine question true/false battery. They compared the level of women’s knowledge to the men’s knowledge level. The researchers also analyze the knowledge levels by age group to capture the effect of various STEM initiatives that were implemented during the respondent’s middle school years.