Posted on September 29, 2014 by Tia Lalani

The Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ACSRC) invites you to “Community Vulnerability and Facility Siting: The Case of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling, 2004-2012”, a free public lecture (abstract below) by Dr. Joel Gehman (Assistant Professor, Strategic Management and Organization, Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta) on October 2, 2014 from 12 PM – …

02Oct - ACSRC Fracking and Community LectureThe Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities (ACSRC) invites you to “Community Vulnerability and Facility Siting: The Case of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling, 2004-2012”, a free public lecture (abstract below) by Dr. Joel Gehman (Assistant Professor, Strategic Management and Organization, Alberta School of Business, University of Alberta) on October 2, 2014 from 12 PM – 1 PM in the Dr. Roger Epp Conference Room (Augustana Campus, 4901-46 Ave, Camrose, AB). Dr. Gehman’s presentation will examine fracking in the Marcellus shale play from 2004-2012 in the state of Pennsylvania and assess whether community vulnerabilities played a role in well siting decisions. For more details please contact the ACSRC email: acsrc@ualberta.ca phone: 780-679-1672
Community Vulnerability and Facility Siting: The Case of Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling, 2004-2012
Dr. Joel Gehman
Assistant Professor
Strategic Management and Organization Alberta School of Business
University of Alberta
Abstract: Hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has rapidly emerged as an ubiquitous technology for extracting oil and gas from previously inaccessible geological formations. Due to the nature of the technology and its relatively small surface footprint, wells can be sited virtually anywhere, including in close proximity to homes, schools and other sensitive locations. With many uncertainties about the technology still unresolved, critics point to the potential for unequally distributed negative health outcomes among those in regular proximity to drilling sites. Accordingly, for oil and gas companies, deciding upon well sites can be a contentious activity, incorporating not only economic and geological factors but social and community ones as well. In this study, we examine all hydraulically fractured wells in the Marcellus shale play from 2004-2012 in the state of Pennsylvania and assess whether community vulnerabilities played a role in well siting decisions. We find that indicators of socio-demographics, social cohesion and municipal governance are predictors of well siting decisions, beyond the traditional attributes of race and income usually highlighted in the environmental justice literature. Our findings suggest that research on community health should not be limited to phenomena like nuclear power plants and hazardous waste facilities, but should expand to include routine, commonplace and autonomous organizational siting decisions characterized by minimal regulatory involvement.
Bio: Dr. Joel Gehman joined the University of Alberta in 2012 as Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Organization, and holds the Alberta School of Business Southam Edmonton Journal Faculty Fellowship. Additionally, he is a research fellow with the Canadian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, the Centre for Applied Business Research in Energy and the Environment, and the University of Alberta Water Initiative. He studies organizations, institutions and strategy, especially how emerging cultural concerns related to sustainability and values impact organizational practices, technology innovation and institutional arrangements, and vice versa.
His work has been published in the Academy of Management Journal, Organization Studies, Research Policy, Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review, Environmental Practice, and Research in the Sociology of Work. Ongoing research examines these issues in the context of unconventional shale gas drilling, hydraulic fracturing patents, B Corporations, multinational divestitures, climate change, cultural understandings of risk, and organizational codes of conduct, among others.

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