CSTPR Noontime Seminar: Jordan Kincaid
Fracking In Denton, Texas: Who Benefits and Why Was it Banned?
by Jordan Kincaid, Center for Science and Technology Policy Research and Environmental Studies, CU Boulder
Abstract: Located in North Texas, the City of Denton has ~275 active gas wells and over a decade of SGD. Here we use an environmental justice framework to analyze the distribution of the costs and benefits of SGD within Denton. Using data on mineral property values from 2002-2013 and gas well location data, we ask: who owns Denton’s mineral rights (i.e. the greatest financial beneficiaries of drilling) and how does this pattern of ownership relate to who lives near gas wells (i.e. those who shoulder the nuisances and health impacts of SGD)? Our results show that Denton’s mineral wealth is widely distributed around the United States, residents own 1% of the total value extracted, and the city government is one of the largest financial beneficiaries of drilling. In addition to distributional inequities, our analysis demonstrates that split estate doctrine, legal deference to mineral owners, and the uniqueness of SGD in urban centers create disparities in municipal SGD decision-making procedures. The environmental justice issues associated with fracking in Denton also provide an explanation for the November 2014 vote to ban fracking in the city.
Biography: Jordan M. Kincaid, M.S., is a Ph.D. student in the Environmental Studies Program focusing on environmental ethics and policy. His research focuses on questions of justice pertaining to shale gas development, climate change adaptation, and material resource consumption.