Landowner Attitudes And Perceptions Of Impact From Wind And Natural Gas Development In Northern Pennsylvania: Implications For Energy Landscapes In Rural America
Energy developments such as industrial scale wind farms and unconventional natural gas drilling represent some of the largest and most controversial land use changes occurring in the United States today. A diverse array of academic disciplines have each sought to explain the social, psychological, and economic effects of siting large industrial facilities in rural areas, however the research has largely remained discipline-specific. This study measures resident attitudes and perceptions of impact from both wind and gas drilling occurring simultaneously in the Armenia Mountain Area of northern Pennsylvania. The results of a mail survey of landowners (n = 1028) in this study area reveal factors that explain landowner variation in attitudes and perception of impact, and describe new forms of participation in the planning and siting of these energy projects. Direction is provided for a new and synthetic theoretical understanding of how residents perceive these impacts and impacts from land use change. The work advances "risk of social and psychological disruption" as a key factor that may influence how residents respond to the prospect of large land use changes. Implications for the regulation and planning of these energy sources are offered, including a new understanding of how landowners participate in the planning and siting of large energy projects. Finally, the limitations of this work, as well as opportunities and implications for future research, are discussed.
energy development; impact perception; marcellus shale
Stedman, Richard Clark
Schmidt, Stephan J; Riha, Susan Jean; Pfeffer, Max John
Ph.D. of Natural Resources
Doctor of Philosophy
dissertation or thesis