2014

Social Movements of Hydraulic Fracturing Research Paper

Presenter: Kevin O'Grady

Research Category:
PI: Daniel Faber

In recent years, there has been a push in the fossil fuel industry to extract natural gas from the earth’s bedrock at an accelerated rate. Natural gas is touted by the industry as a cleaner, more affordable source of energy. Concurrent with this new emphasis on hydraulic fracturing, there have been a variety of social movements voicing opinions, analyzing the industry, and spreading information about the practice. This paper examines some of those movements and the forces that are driving them. News articles, rallies, social media pages, organization’s websites and other methods of disseminating information are analyzed to determine what role they are playing in advancing the agendas of these social movements. Ultimately, the movements are likely to have a significant impact on the public’s view of fracking, as well as on the fate of laws in states debating the use of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas extraction. These social movements and the forces behind them are important to evaluate when predicting future legislation and policy pertaining to the practice.