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Power, Procedural Justice and Social Capital in Energy Decision-making Processes


Hydraulic fracturing has been an economically successful but contentious practice in the U.S., particularly as it has entered into populated communities and urban areas. Local governments¿ desires to regulate the practice has created multiscale governance tensions between cities, counties and states.

In an effort to address these tensions in Colorado, in 2014 then-Governor John Hickenlooper appointed a state-level task force. However, we find that the task force process produced and reproduced procedural injustices, both in terms of who was appointed to it, and how the rules governing the internal interactions of the task force favoured industry and state actors and their desired outcomes. Social capital played an important role in terms of who was selected to be on the task force and in the unmatched influence that industry and industry-friendly actors had on the process. As a result, opportunities for participation for the people most likely to be impacted were diminished. Further, the task force¿s recommendation outcomes favoured the industry¿reflecting how powerful actors are able to shape decision-making spaces to ensure those processes serve their interests. These findings are not necessarily unique to decision-making processes for hydraulic fracturing or other environmental regulatory contexts. To demonstrate this, we can also discuss how similar issues are arising in shale gas contexts in the UK and beyond. A critical question becomes: How can we better identify potential issues of procedural injustice in our environmental decision-making processes proactively, in order to avoid reproducing power inequalities in policy and governance contexts?

Föreläsare: Stacia Ryder, PhD student at the Geography Department, University of Exeter, United Kingdom.

Datum: 2020-04-23

Tid: 10:00 - 12:00

Kategorier: Samhällsvetenskap

Arrangör: Environmental Social Science, School of Global Studies

Plats: Globala studier, Konstepidemins väg 2

Kontaktperson: Marie Thynell

Sidansvarig: Helena Svensson|Sidan uppdaterades: 2014-09-16

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