Geography

Title

Scale, shale, and the state: Political ecologies and legal geographies of shale gas development in Pennsylvania

Document Type

Article

Abstract

Recent work on legal geographies has arguably paid far too little attention to the environment as both an object of governance and a terrain of struggle with respect to the law. Conversely, political ecology as a field, with its focus on informal and extra-legal dynamics, has arguably engaged too little with the legal geographies that are central to environmental conflicts in many locations. This paper examines and theorizes the legal geographies that have been essential elements of the recent boom in extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania. Specifically, it examines the ways in which laws and the authority of the state more broadly have been changed, deployed, and invoked, particularly through the passage of Act 13, to enable the extraction of the gas in the shale and its circulation as a viable commodity. This analysis of the relevant multiscalar legal geographies illustrates the productivity of a more direct engagement between political ecology on one hand, and legal geography on the other. © 2013 AESS.

Publication Title

Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences

Publication Date

2014

Volume

4

Issue

1

First Page

7

Last Page

16

ISSN

2190-6483

DOI

10.1007/s13412-013-0146-8

COinS