Advertisement

Ban or Regulate? A Critical Juncture in New York’s Fossil Fuel Regulation

  • Ida Dokk SmithEmail author
Chapter

Abstract

In this chapter I examine the political process leading up to the ban on hydraulic fracturing in New York State. I identify the early phase ending with the governor’s decision to update the state’s environmental review guidelines for permitting in 2008 as a critical juncture. In retrospect this was a near miss for the oil and gas industry. The decision changed the rules of the game to one where the opposition to hydraulic fracturing defended status quo and gave grassroot organisations time to mobilize. The case illustrates that political feasibility of restrictive supply-side climate policies, such as banning fossil fuel production, is not something we can defined with a predefined set of variables. Instead political feasibility is created through the political process. Furthermore, I note an increasing use of supply-side policy measures since the ban. This suggests that the decision to ban hydraulic fracturing also marks an acceleration of the state’s transition towards a low-carbon energy economy.

Keywords

Hydraulic fracturing Restrictive supply side climate policy Critical junctures Path dependency Social movements New York State Energy transition 

References

  1. Anderson, D.D. 1981. Regulatory Politics and Electric Utilities: A Case Study in Political Economy. Boston, MA: Auburn House.Google Scholar
  2. Bennett, A. and Checkel, J.T. 2014. Process Tracing: From Metaphor to Analytic Tool. In: Strategies for Social Inquiry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Cairney, P., Fischer, M. and Ingold, K. 2016. Hydraulic Fracturing Policy in the United Kingdom: Coalition, Cooperation, and Opposition in the Face of Uncertainty. In: Weible, C.M., Heikkila, T., Ingold, K. and Fischer, H. (Eds.) Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing: Comparing Coalition Politics in North America and Europe. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  4. Capoccia, G. 2016. Critical Junctures. In: Fioretos O, Falleti T.G. and Sheingate A. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Historical Institutionalism. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Capoccia, G. and Kelemen, R.D. 2007. The Study of Critical Junctures: Theory, Narrative, and Counterfactuals in Historical Institutionalism. World Politics 59: 341–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cheon, A. and Urpelainen, J. 2018. Activism and the Fossil Fuel Industry. Oxton and New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. EIA (US Environmental Information Administration). 2015. Top 100 US Oil and Gas Fields. Washington, DC: US Energy Information Administration.Google Scholar
  8. EIA (US Environmental Information Administration). 2018. US Net Energy Imports in 2017 Fall to Their Lowest Levels Since 1982. https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=35532
  9. FrackTracker. 2019. National Datasets. https://www.fractracker.org/.
  10. Gold, R. and McGinty, T. 2013. Energy Boom Puts Wells in America’s Backyards. The Wall Street Journal.Google Scholar
  11. Goldthau, A. 2018. The Politics of Shale Gas in Eastern Europe; Energy Security, Contested Technologies and the Social Licence to Frack. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grubler, A., Wilson, C. and Nemet, G. 2016. Apples, Oranges, and Consistent Comparisons of the Temporal Dynamics of Energy Transitions. Energy Research & Social Science 22: 18–25.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hakim, D. 2012. Cuomo Proposal Would Restrict Gas Drilling to a Struggling Area. The New York Times.Google Scholar
  14. Hall, P.A. 1993. Policy Paradigms, Social Learning, and the State: The Case of Economic Policymaking in Britain. Comparative Politics 25: 275–296.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hauter, W. 2016. Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment. New York: The New Press.Google Scholar
  16. Heikkila, T., Pierce, J.J., Gallaher, S., Kagan, J., Crow, D.A. and Weible, C.M. 2014a. Understanding a Period of Policy Change: The Case of Hydraulic Fracturing Disclosure Policy in Colorado. Review of Policy Research 31: 65–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Heikkila, T., Weible, C.M. and Pierce, J.J. 2014b. Exploring the Policy Narratives and Politics of Hydraulic Fracturing in New York. In: Jones, M.D., Shanahan, E.A. and McBeth, M.K. (Eds.) The Science of Stories: Applications of the Narrative Policy Framework in Public Policy Analysis. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  18. Kaplan, T. 2014. Citing Health Risks, Cuomo Ban Fracking in New York State. The New York Times.Google Scholar
  19. Karapin, R. 2016. Political Opportunities for Climate Policy: California, New York, and the Federal Government. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kvale, S. 1996. Interviews: An Introduction to Qualitative Research Interviewing. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  21. Laird, F.N. 2016. Avoiding Transitions, Layering Change: The Evolution of American Energy Policy. In: Hager, C. and Stefes, C.H. (Eds.) Germany’s Energy Transition: A Comparative Perspective. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US, 111–131.Google Scholar
  22. Lazarus, M. and van Asselt, H.J.C.C. 2018. Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Policy: Exploring the Road Less Taken. Climate Change, Special Issue: Fossil Fuel Supply and Climate Policy. Stockholm Environment Institute 150: 1–13.Google Scholar
  23. Lebow, R.N. 2010. Counterfactuals and Foreign Policy Analysis. Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. LeBrun, F. 2014. Fracking Ruling a Victory for All. Timesunion.Google Scholar
  25. Lis, A. and Stankiewicz, P. 2017. Framing Shale Gas for Policy-Making in Poland. Journal of Environmental Policy & Planning 19: 53–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Mobbs, P. 2014. Shale Gas and Public Health—The Whitewash Exposed, May 6, 2014. The Ecologist.Google Scholar
  27. Mouawad, J. and Krauss, C. 2009. Gas Company Won’t Drill in New York Watershed. The New York Times.Google Scholar
  28. Navarro, M. 2011. With Gas Drilling Next Door, County in New York Gets an Economic Lift. The New York Times.Google Scholar
  29. NYCDEP. 2009. Final Impact Assessment Report: Impact Assessment of Natural Gas Production in the New York City Water Supply Watershed. New York: Department of Environmental Protection.Google Scholar
  30. NYSACHO. 2012. NYSACHO Report To High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Advisory Panel of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation New York State Association of County Health Officials.Google Scholar
  31. NYSERDA. 2002. New York State Energy Plan 2002. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.Google Scholar
  32. NYSERDA. 2009. New York State Energy Plan 2009. New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.Google Scholar
  33. Passut, C. 2014. NY State Senator: Fracking Possible After November Election. NGI Shale Daily.Google Scholar
  34. Pierson, P. 2000. Not Just What, But When: Timing and Sequence in Political Processes. Studies in American Political Development 14: 72–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Pierson, P. 2004. Politics in Time. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Putnam, R.D. 1988. Diplomacy and Domestic Politics: The Logic of Two-Level Games. International Organisation 42: 427–460.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Rahim, S. 2018. In N.Y., Farmers Think about What Might Have Been. E&E News.Google Scholar
  38. Rapier, R. 2018. No, The U.S. Is Not a Net Exporter of Crude Oil. Forbes, December 9.Google Scholar
  39. Richardson, N., Gottlieb, M., Krupnick, A. and Wiseman, H. 2013. The State of State Shale Gas Regulation. Washington, DC: Resources for the Future.Google Scholar
  40. Sabatier, P.A. and Jenkins-Smith, H.C. 1993. Policy Change and Learning: An Advocacy Coalition Approach. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.Google Scholar
  41. Stokes, Leah C. and Breetz, Hanna L. 2018. Politics in the U.S. Energy Transition: Case Studies of Solar, Wind, Biofuels and Electric Vehicles Policy. Energy Policy, 113: 76–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Toxics Targeting. 2009. Coalition Letter Requesting Governor Paterson to Withdraw the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Draft Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (dSGEIS) for Oil and Gas Mining. http://www.toxicstargeting.com/MarcellusShale/coalition_letter.
  43. Weible, C.M. and Heikkila, T. 2016. Comparing the Politics of Hydraulic Fracturing in New York, Colorado, and Texas. Review of Policy Research 33(3): 232–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Weible, C.M., Heikkila, T., Ingold, K. and Fischer, H. (Eds.). 2016. Policy Debates on Hydraulic Fracturing: Comparing Coalition Politics in North America and Europe. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  45. Wilber, T. 2012. Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale. New York: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar

Interviewees December 2018/January 2019

  1. I1: Kate Sinding (Senior Attorny and Deputy Director NRDC to 2015)Google Scholar
  2. I2: Katherine Nadeau (Policy Director and Water and Natural Resources Director for Environmental Advocates to 2015)Google Scholar
  3. I3: Wes Gillingham (Program Director Catskill Mountainkeeper)Google Scholar
  4. I4: Deborah Goldberg (Managing Attorney Earthjustice)Google Scholar
  5. I5: Tim Woodcock (Field manager Clean Water Action 2008–2010. The Solutions Project 2011–2012)Google Scholar
  6. I6: Assemblywoman Donna A. LupardoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of OsloOsloNorway

Personalised recommendations