State-led oil and gas exploration is causing social and environmental protests to flare up in areas that have just begun to recover from the long and costly path to peace.
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Conflict is essential in the policy process, and understanding conflict better has the potential to assist policymakers and improve outcomes.
People living in areas of Pennsylvania where hydraulic fracturing is booming are suffering increasing rates of hospitalization, a new study says. The study is one of a small but growing number suggesting that the practice could be affecting human health.
While public opinion is fairly skewed against the fracking process, policy actors in New York State can best be described as polarized. Predictably, the pro-fracking group generally disagrees with environmental groups while the anti-fracking group generally disagrees with the oil industry. Policy actors in New York had stark differences in answers on a wide variety of questions.
Ten years ago, hydraulic fracturing barely existed. Today 45,000 fracked wells produce natural gas, providing energy for millions of homes and businesses, and nearly a quarter of the nation’s electricity. But scientists are far behind in understanding how this boom affects people near wells. Geochemists Beizhan Yan and James Ross of Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory are trying to fill in this gap.
Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural gas, has become a hot button issue across the U.S. But let’s try to look objectively at its benefits and risks.
“I strongly recommend that policy students and professionals make an effort to get to know the language and structure of environmental law and that law students and lawyers reciprocate.” MPA in Environmental Science and Policy Class of 2012 member Josh Garrett reflects on his role this past semester as a volunteer policy analyst at the non-profit environmental law firm, Earthjustice.
MPA in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) Student Josh Garrett puts the memo writing skills he learned in the classroom into practice as an intern focused on hydrofracking policy at Earthjustice. He is doing legal research on how existing environmental policies relate to the practice and identifying ingredients in hydraulic fracturing fluid.
“I had been very interested in hydrofracking before I started the MPA in Environmental Science and Policy (MPA-ESP) program, but really became passionate about the negative the environmental impacts of the practice through my workshop, which analyzed and created an implementation plan for the FRAC Act of 2011.” Josh Garrett, MPA-ESP Class of 2012 student, is interning at Earthjustice because he believes in the importance of enforcing environmental policies.
Fracking is back in the news again, and in a big way. On July 1, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, backed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration, released its recommendations regarding the controversial natural gas extraction technique. Amidst the din of statewide protests, the agency supported fracking in most of the state’s portion… read more