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Federalizing energy? Agenda change and the politics of fracking


  • Charles Davis


  • Katherine Hoffer



This paper focuses on agenda change affecting the politics of “fracking operations” in the US, a process of extracting natural gas from underground shale formations. We examine how the movement of this policy issue between the state and federal levels of government has become increasingly contentious because of rising public concern about pollution impacts. Using information obtained from documentary sources and media content analysis, we found that the natural gas policy coalition has largely focused on a political strategy based on maintaining fracking regulatory controls at the state level, while the environmental policy coalition has pushed for increased regulation of drilling practices in general, including a larger policy and oversight role for federal agencies such as EPA. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2012

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Davis & Katherine Hoffer, 2012. "Federalizing energy? Agenda change and the politics of fracking," Policy Sciences, Springer;Society of Policy Sciences, vol. 45(3), pages 221-241, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:policy:v:45:y:2012:i:3:p:221-241
    DOI: 10.1007/s11077-012-9156-8

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Rick S. Kurtz, 2004. "Coastal Oil Pollution: Spills, Crisis, and Policy Change," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 21(2), pages 201-219, March.
    2. Barry Rabe, 2011. "Contested Federalism and American Climate Policy," Publius: The Journal of Federalism, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(3), pages 494-521, Summer.
    3. Thomas A. Birkland, 2004. ""The World Changed Today": Agenda-Setting and Policy Change in the Wake of the September 11 Terrorist Attacks," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 21(2), pages 179-200, March.
    4. Charles Davis, 2012. "The Politics of “Fracking”: Regulating Natural Gas Drilling Practices in Colorado and Texas," Review of Policy Research, Policy Studies Organization, vol. 29(2), pages 177-191, March.
    5. William R. Lowry, 2008. "Disentangling Energy Policy from Environmental Policy," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1195-1211.
    6. Ann O'M. Bowman & Neal D. Woods, 2010. "Expanding the Scope of Conflict: Interest Groups and Interstate Compacts," Social Science Quarterly, Southwestern Social Science Association, vol. 91(3), pages 669-688.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:kap:policy:v:51:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11077-018-9312-x is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:enepol:v:111:y:2017:i:c:p:383-393 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Christenson, Dino P. & Goldfarb, Jillian L. & Kriner, Douglas L., 2017. "Costs, benefits, and the malleability of public support for “Fracking”," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 407-417.
    4. Holahan, Robert & Arnold, Gwen, 2013. "An institutional theory of hydraulic fracturing policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 127-134.
    5. Boudet, Hilary & Clarke, Christopher & Bugden, Dylan & Maibach, Edward & Roser-Renouf, Connie & Leiserowitz, Anthony, 2014. "“Fracking” controversy and communication: Using national survey data to understand public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 57-67.


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