AbstractsGeography &GIS

New Energy Landscapes of Pennsylvania: Forests to Farms to Fracking

by Deborah A Johnson

Institution: University of Cincinnati
Department: Arts and Sciences: Geography
Degree: PhD
Year: 2014
Keywords: Families and Family Life; Land Use Planning; Stakeholder, Energy Landscape, Hydraulic fracturing, Marcellus shale, Natural Gas, Land use
Record ID: 2029743
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ucin1417784068


This dissertation adds to the literature on energy needed by industry, government, and citizens for decision-making. The pursuit to access or create new energy resources spawns new landscapes of energy in the early 21st century. The combination of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies – popularly called “fracking” – enables entry into previously inaccessible natural gas reserves such as the Marcellus shale much of which lies beneath Pennsylvania. Although this unconventional method offers a promising source of domestic energy and job growth, the potential for negative impacts raises concerns and questions. The questions include: What is the controversy about fracking in Pennsylvania? What are the impacts of fracking? What costs is Pennsylvania paying as it shifts to shale gas extraction? Are there activities taking place or material signs that point to the emerging new landscapes? Are the individuals and organizations that resist shale gas extraction – the so-called “Green Forces” – and others who live within the region of development more or less attuned to these costs?