Contentious politics in liquefied natural gas facility siting
- The siting of locally unwanted land uses (LULUs) -- hazardous waste facilities, landfills, prisons, power plants, etc. -- has proved to be a difficult task. Recent attempts to site liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the U.S. have been no exception. These terminals receive LNG produced overseas and regasify it for distribution. Since 2000, more than 50 such terminals have been proposed but only five are currently operational. Like most LULU siting efforts, LNG proposals have drawn attention -- and sparked protest -- from local citizens. The siting of an LNG terminal presents many issues around which a community can mobilize. As a result, attempts to site these facilities create an ideal laboratory for better understanding the factors and processes that drive variations in community mobilization efforts in the context of LULUs. Why do some communities respond quickly and forcefully to a siting announcement, while others remain passive? Why do some community groups turn to more disruptive activities, such as protests and demonstrations, while others rely on more familiar forms of political participation, such as public hearings and letter writing? Using theories from the study of facility siting and social movements, I explore these issues through two in-depth studies of attempts to site LNG facilities in California. I then test the findings from the two in-depth case studies with eleven additional case studies of randomly selected LNG proposals around the country. These additional case studies include a review of relevant newspaper articles, regulatory documentation and five to ten interviews in each field site. Findings from these cases indicate five different types of community response: acceptance, local opposition, administrative opposition, unexpected opposition and well-resourced opposition. My analysis also suggests that high resource communities mobilize regardless of threat or opportunity. However, for low to medium resource communities, higher levels of threat and political opportunity matter for mobilization. Finally, the results show that mobilization is sufficient but not necessary for project failure. This work provides important insights both for researchers on facility siting -- in terms of the importance of combinations of key causal factors -- and for planners embroiled in such conflicts -- in terms of key policy levers affecting mobilization outcomes.
|Type of resource
|electronic; electronic resource; remote
|1 online resource.
|Boudet, Hilary Schaffer
|Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources (Stanford University)
|McDermott, Monica, 1971-
|McDermott, Monica, 1971-
|Statement of responsibility
|Hilary Schaffer Boudet.
|Submitted to the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources.
|Ph. D. Stanford University 2010
- © 2010 by Hilary Schaffer Boudet
- This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).
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