Micropolitics in the Marcellus Shale

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Book Chapter


The “extractive frontier” has been the subject of much critical attention over the past decade. Scholars and activists broadly agree that the fossil fuel industry is making great efforts to extract fossil fuels from new sites and sources, often ones that had until recently been deemed inaccessible, because of technological challenges, political risks, costs, or a combination thereof (Bridge 2008; Bridge and Le Billon 2012). Many such sites and sources are for the moment described as “unconventional,” including deep offshore sources of oil and gas, oil sands in Canada and Venezuela, and shale oil and gas, although of course the unconventional becomes the conventional all too quickly. Many observers have suggested that the expansion of this extractive frontier has brought with it greater risks for society, the environment, and for the industry itself in certain respects: as extraction moves into more challenging physical situations, costs increase and the risks of accidents and the diffi culties of controlling them rise; as extraction moves into new locations, particularly in the global North, it becomes the subject of greater scrutiny and opposition by citizens and groups with more social power, particular legal rights, and often a greater willingness to consume fossil fuels than to live in the sites of their production.

Publication Title

Grassroots Environmental Governance: Community Engagements with Industry

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micropolitics, hydraulic fracturing, natural gas, produced water