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Shale Gas and the Future of Energy: Framing the Sustainability Questions

Shale Gas and the Future of Energy: Law and Policy for Sustainability, 2016

Widener Law Commonwealth Research Paper No. 15-38

15 Pages Posted: 5 May 2016 Last revised: 7 May 2016

John C. Dernbach

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School

Date Written: May 3, 2016

Abstract

Few energy issues in recent decades have proven as contentious as shale gas. Supporters and opponents often speak in such strikingly divergent terms that they seem to be describing different activities. Typically, supporters point to the economic and security impacts of shale gas, and minimize the adverse environmental and social effects. Opponents often point to negative environmental and social impacts, and downplay the economic and security effects. This chapter, from Shale Gas and the Future of Energy: Law and Policy for Sustainability (Edward Elgar 2016), explains sustainable development as an essential framework for providing a more complete understanding of whether shale gas contributes to overall human well-being. Key questions are whether shale gas development is sustainable and, if not, whether law and policy can actually make shale gas development sustainable. As this chapter also explains, it is not enough to make some progress toward sustainability. Key further questions are whether shale gas can help accelerate the transition to sustainability and, if so, how. These are the questions this book attempts to answer.

Keywords: Shale Gas, Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Shale Gas and the Future of Energy, Energy, Energy Law, Unconventional Shale Gas Development

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K32, Q00, Q01, Q10, Q2, Q3, Q4

Suggested Citation

Dernbach, John C., Shale Gas and the Future of Energy: Framing the Sustainability Questions (May 3, 2016). Shale Gas and the Future of Energy: Law and Policy for Sustainability, 2016; Widener Law Commonwealth Research Paper No. 15-38. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2774459

John C. Dernbach (Contact Author)

Widener University - Commonwealth Law School ( email )

3800 Vartan Way
Harrisburg, PA 17110-9380
United States

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