Oil Shale Fracking: Implications for Community Planning & Environmental Safety
Date(s) - 01/30/2014
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Assessments by the U.S. Geological Society of the amount of gas and oil contained in the Bakken Formation in northwestern North Dakota, northeastern Montana, and southern Saskatchewan, continue to be adjusted upward. The Marcellus Shale Formation in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York, and the Utica Shale, which lies beneath it, contain among the world’s largest fields of natural gas. Estimates of the “undiscovered, technically recoverable” shale, combined with advances in the technology of horizontal hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” suggest that natural gas and oil extraction from these regions will grow in importance, demanding appropriate policy responses.
Gas and oil extraction has occurred at such rapid rates that communities in northwestern North Dakota are experiencing a “boom town” phenomenon, with the associated implications. In this panel, Professor Córdova will discuss the Bakken Formation, gas and oil extraction, state laws, and planning issues in the region. Some communities have sought to regulate “fracking” practices, which in some cases is either in conflict with state law or provoke lawsuits from industry. Professor Christopherson will discuss mobilization efforts by local communities in upstate New York and Pennsylvania, concerned about the health, environmental and financial risks of “fracking.”
Teresa Córdova is the director of UIC Great Cities Institute and Professor of Urban Planning and Policy within CUPPA. Before her appointment as GCI director, she was Department Chair and Professor of Community and Regional Planning at the University of New Mexico.
In Spring 2012, Professor Córdova traveled with a group of students to northwestern North Dakota where they conducted interviews, gathered data and studied first hand the Planning Issues of a Modern Day Boomtown.
Susan Christopherson is a Professor in the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University. She is a geographer whose career has been based on commitment to the integration of scholarly work and public engagement.
Her research interests are diverse, but focus on political-economic policy, especially its spatial dimensions. Much of her research is comparative and she has published a series of articles and a book on how different market governance regimes influence regional development and labor market policies.
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