Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://www.restoringthewest.org/

Streaming Media

Abstract

In December 2008, Shell Frontier Oil and Gas Inc. filed for rights to withdraw water from the Yampa River in northwestern Colorado. The water required to produce oil from shale is a significant public and environmental issue in commercial development. To explore the intersections among energy, water, economic, and cultural issues, discourse analysis was employed in a qualitative, descriptive case study of 40 articles published from the application’s initiation until it was withdrawn by Shell in February 2010. The economic, historical, and cultural background of both the region and oil shale exploration are important factors in evaluating local understanding and reactions to Shell’s filing as an environmentally and politically significant event. Content of news articles, editorials, and letters to the editor demonstrate the construction and framing of information, use of rhetorical devices, use of units of measure (e.g., barrels of water per barrel of oil), and change over time, and helps to reveal the public’s levels of understanding and knowledge of the issues of concern. Results provide insight into regional attitudes about biophysical, economic, and cultural issues surrounding water and oil shale development.

Temis Taylor, PhD Candidate, Utah State University Department of Environment and Society, 5215 Old Main Hill, Logan UT, 84322, temistaylor@gmail.com

Temis Taylor earned her BS in Communications with a minor in Women’s Studies at the University of Utah and her MS in Bioregional Planning at Utah State University. She is pursuing a PhD in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management under the direction of Dr. Joseph Tainter. Her Master’s thesis was supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and described alternative futures for biodiversity conservation in the face of energy development in Western Colorado. Continuing interest in the biophysical limits, perceptions of risk, and construction of knowledge in relation to energy development drives her current research.

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Oct 31st, 2:45 PM Oct 31st, 3:15 PM

Mixing Oil Shale and Water Rights: A Case Study in Western Colorado

USU Eccles Conference Center

In December 2008, Shell Frontier Oil and Gas Inc. filed for rights to withdraw water from the Yampa River in northwestern Colorado. The water required to produce oil from shale is a significant public and environmental issue in commercial development. To explore the intersections among energy, water, economic, and cultural issues, discourse analysis was employed in a qualitative, descriptive case study of 40 articles published from the application’s initiation until it was withdrawn by Shell in February 2010. The economic, historical, and cultural background of both the region and oil shale exploration are important factors in evaluating local understanding and reactions to Shell’s filing as an environmentally and politically significant event. Content of news articles, editorials, and letters to the editor demonstrate the construction and framing of information, use of rhetorical devices, use of units of measure (e.g., barrels of water per barrel of oil), and change over time, and helps to reveal the public’s levels of understanding and knowledge of the issues of concern. Results provide insight into regional attitudes about biophysical, economic, and cultural issues surrounding water and oil shale development.

Temis Taylor, PhD Candidate, Utah State University Department of Environment and Society, 5215 Old Main Hill, Logan UT, 84322, temistaylor@gmail.com

Temis Taylor earned her BS in Communications with a minor in Women’s Studies at the University of Utah and her MS in Bioregional Planning at Utah State University. She is pursuing a PhD in Human Dimensions of Ecosystem Science and Management under the direction of Dr. Joseph Tainter. Her Master’s thesis was supported by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and described alternative futures for biodiversity conservation in the face of energy development in Western Colorado. Continuing interest in the biophysical limits, perceptions of risk, and construction of knowledge in relation to energy development drives her current research.

http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2012/october31/11