Title: Analysis perspective on environmental (in)justice basis of fracking policy: take a Texas city for example

Authors: Jianan Guo

Addresses: College of Marxism, Northeastern University, No. 9, Unit 3, Building No. 35, East living area of metallurgy, Qiao Xi District, City of XingTai, Hebei Province, China

Abstract: Adapting a distinction prominent in discussions of science policy, the main points should be applying environmental ethical point for local government's decision making. Shale gas development (SGD) via horisontal drilling and fracking is touted for economic benefits and spurned for health and environmental impacts. Despite SGD's socioeconomically salience, few peer-reviewed, empirical studies document the distribution of positive and negative effects. The City of Denton, Texas has 280 active gas wells and over a decade of SGD. Here we use an environmental justice framework to analyse the distribution of SGD's costs and benefits within Denton. Our results show that Denton's mineral wealth is widely distributed around the USA, residents own 1% of the total value extracted, and the city government is a large financial beneficiary. In addition to distributional inequities, our analysis demonstrates that split estate doctrine, legal deference to mineral owners and SGD's uniqueness in urban centres create disparities in municipal SGD decision-making processes. The environmental justice issues associated with fracking in Denton also provide one possible explanation for residents' November 2014 vote to ban hydraulic fracturing.

Keywords: distributive justice; environmental justice; mineral property rights; participative justice; royalties; fracking policy; Texas; USA; United States; shale gas development; SGD costs; SGD benefits; hydraulic fracturing; mineral wealth.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTTC.2016.079925

International Journal of Technology Transfer and Commercialisation, 2016 Vol.14 No.1, pp.42 - 50

Accepted: 07 Jul 2016
Published online: 18 Oct 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article