The Fracking Debate: Intergovernmental Politics of the Oil and Gas Renaissance, Second Edition, 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Fracking Debate

Intergovernmental Politics of the Oil and Gas Renaissance, Second Edition, 2nd Edition

By Jonathan M. Fisk


272 pages | 26 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781498742412
pub: 2017-08-15
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The disputes around fracking, and oil and gas policy, follow a long tradition of complicated intergovernmental relationships. Proponents argue that fracking supports new and well-paying jobs, revitalizes state and local economies, and that it can help replace reliance on other fossil fuels. Skeptics and opponents contend that oil and gas production via fracking contaminates air and water resources, causes earthquakes, and can ruin the character of many communities. Examining the intergovernmental politics of the first oil and natural gas boom of the 21st century, The Fracking Debate, Second edition offers a holistic understanding of the politics that characterize oil and natural gas operations, including why local governments are challenging their state’s preemptive authority, in order to initiate a larger conversation about improving intergovernmental relationships. Author Jonathan Fisk presents a novel argument about the ways in which local, state, regional, and national approaches to governance of shale gas development can work together to reduce conflict and forward the interests of the communities exposed to development, asking important questions such as:

  • What state structures govern state-local relations? What state institutions impact and shape oil and gas production? What is the policymaking context in the state?
  • What are the costs and benefits of hydraulic fracturing at the national, state, and local levels? How are risks and rewards distributed within states? 
  • What local policies have challenged the state, and why would local communities challenge the state?

The result is a book that demonstrates that when stakeholders acknowledge their interdependencies and one another’s expertise, they create, design, and implement more responsive, strategic, and targeted public policies.  The Fracking Debate, Second edition will be required reading for courses on oil and gas policy in the United States, environmental politics, and domestic energy politics, as well as a vital reference for practitioners and policymakers working in these fields. 


"Jonathan Fisk has given us an excellent analysis of state and local fracking politics and policy-making that is informative, well written, and eminently readable. Especially useful is a concluding chapter that offers a number of policy prescriptions designed to facilitate state and local efforts to balance energy and environmental protection while recognizing the need for both transparency and public involvement." – Charles Davis, Colorado State University, USA

"Fracking represents a test of the capacity of states and localities to be good environmental stewards given the very modest federal role. Jonathan Fisk's thoughtful book examines the diverse range of policy responses across key states and explores the considerable conflict that has emerged between state and local control. This represents an original contribution on fracking governance, with important lessons for the future of American environmental ?federalism." Barry G. Rabe, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, USA

Table of Contents

1. Introducing the Politics of Oil and Gas Development

2. Oil and Gas at the Federal Level

3. Oil and Gas at the Subnational Level

4. Oil and Gas in Colorado

5. Oil and Gas in Ohio

6. Oil and Gas in Texas

7. Local Oil and Gas Stories

8. Understanding Local Defiance

9. Summary and Recommendations

10. Summary and Recommendations

About the Author

Jonathan M. Fisk, PhD, is currently an assistant professor of Political Science at Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama. He holds a Doctorate in Political Science from Colorado State University and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Kansas. He has served as a Research Associate with the League of Kansas Municipalities. Currently, he is the Faculty Adviser to the Auburn University Student Chapter of the International City and County Management Association. He is also the Secretary of the Alabama Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration and a board member for the Section of Environment and Natural Resource Administration. His research has appeared in a number of academic outlets including State and Local Government Review, Society and Natural Resources, Politics and Policy, Review of Policy Research, and Local Environment. At Auburn University, Dr. Fisk teaches MPA seminars in Public Personnel Management, Organizational Theory, and Leadership, and undergraduate environmental policy and public administration courses.

About the Series

ASPA Series in Public Administration and Public Policy

Founded in 1939, the American Society for Public Administration (ASPA) is the premier professional organization for public administration, dedicated to advancing its art, science, teaching and practice. The ASPA book series provides expert information on a range of public administration issues, each authored by a leader in the field. Series Editor David Rosenbloom is Distinguished Professor of Public Administration in the School of Public Affairs at American University, USA.

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