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Fracking politics: a case study of policy in New York and Pennsylvania from 2008-2011




Clarke, Chad, author
Davis, Sandra, advisor
Davis, Charles, committee member
Lindsay, James, committee member

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This paper focuses on the politics of regulating natural gas hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in New York and Pennsylvania from 2008 to 2011 and how policy has changed in each state during this time. By applying Kingdon's multiple streams model as a tool, this paper finds four major influences on the stringency of fracking in New York and Pennsylvania. First, is increased negative news reporting, which results in the problem being seen as more significant than previously believed and contributing to a change in policy stringency. Second, the presence of focusing events increases the likelihood of a change in policy stringency. Third, policy entrepreneurs exert influence over policy stringency. Fourth, when Republicans are in control, they seek less stringent fracking regulation while Democrats work for more stringent fracking regulation. Finally this paper observes that when the aforementioned streams converge and a window of opportunity opens there is significant policy stringency change in both New York and Pennsylvania.


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New York
hydraulic fracturing


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