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Led by sociologists at institutions in the East (Penn State University), in Texas (Texas A&M, Sam Houston State), and in the Rockies (Utah State), the EFD program reports on the public’s perceptions of oil and gas activities. EFD management has long sponsored community focus meetings and briefings with city officials to facilitate the dialog between shale gas sector and the neighborhood it serves. Many presentations have been given in response to requests for information on local issues related to gas shale development and information on the attitudes of the U.S. as this new energy source develops.

Oil and gas development is increasing in the State of Utah due to national and worldwide demands for energy, for example the Uinta Basin has been identified by RPSEA as a top priority tight sands play. It is important to understand the impacts that this growth may have on local and regional air quality, water resources, land use and general quality of life.

The EFD Program works to establish rapport with members of the general public, community leaders, representatives of oil and gas associations, regulatory agency personnel, non-governmental organization representatives, and other interested individuals who are expected to be affected by energy development  through face-to-face meetings and teleconferencing. In addition, the program interacts with all stakeholders to empirically examine their level of familiarity with environmentally friendly energy exploration and production practices as well as their level of agreement that environmentally friendly energy exploration and production practices can be used in environmentally sensitive areas that are currently off-limits or highly restricted should such areas be opened up for development.

The EFD program holds workshops to establish dialogue among members of the general public, community leaders, representatives of oil and gas associations, regulatory agency personnel, non-governmental organization representatives, and other interested individuals with respect to the acceptance and assimilation of environmentally friendly energy exploration and production practices drawing upon the empirical data.

A white paper has been written concerning the Uintah Basin. This report provides:

A copy of the paper may be found at this link: Uintah Basin White Paper

In addition, there are various other publications and presentations concerning public perception that have been issued, including:

"Fracking" and Clean Water: A Survey of Americans

Haut, R.C., Williams, T., Theodori, G., Slutz, J.: “Balancing Environmental, Societal and Energy Production Issues,” extended abstract presented at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) 2011 Conference, 10-13 April 2011.

Haut, R.C., Burnett, D., Williams, T., Theodori, G.: “Balancing Environmental Tradeoffs Associated with Low Impact Drilling Systems to Produce Unconventional Natural Gas Resources,” paper CSUG/SPE-1337430-PP presented at the Canadian Unconventional Resources & International Petroleum Conference, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 19-21 October 2010.

For more information contact:

     Rich Haut, rhaut@HARCResearch.org, 281-364-6093