Hydraulic fracturing and environmental concerns: The role of local government

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    This article discusses how local governments, in three different countries, challenge higher levels of government’s decision making that enables hydraulic fracturing, and it explores how these higher levels of government should respond. The article finds that in those countries where at the local level, authorities have regulatory powers in the field of planning and the environment, such as the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, these powers indeed can and are used to limit or completely ban high volume hydraulic fracturing. In these countries, however, higher levels of government are or have been putting legislation in place taking away or overruling local regulatory powers when these are used to target oil and gas extraction for reasons of national energy security. The article concludes that a) setting and applying effective environmental protection standards, b) involvement of local government, and c) meaningful participation of local communities are key to responsible decision-making on hydraulic fracturing.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)431-457
    Number of pages27
    JournalJournal of Environmental Law
    Issue number3
    Early online date19 May 2015
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2015


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