Document Type


Journal/Book Title

Environmental Politics

Publication Date



Taylor & Francis Group

First Page


Last Page



Unconventional oil and gas extraction(UOGE) has spurred an unprecedented boom in on-shore production in the U.S.Despite a surge in related research, a void exists regarding policy-related inquiries.To address this gap, we examine support of federal regulatory exemptions for UOGE using survey data collected in 2015 from two northern Colorado communities as part of a National Institutes of Health study.We assert that current regulatory exemptions for UOGE can be understood as components of broader societal processes of neoliberalization. We test whether free market ideologies relate to people’s regulatory views and find that free market ideology increases public support for federal regulatory exemptions for UOGE.We find that perceived negative impacts do not necessarily drive people to support increased federal regulation. Utilizing neo-Polanyian theory, we tested for an interaction between free market ideology and perceived negative impacts(Block and Somers 2014; Author 2015).Interestingly, free market ideology appears to moderate people’s views of regulation.Free market ideology seems to increase the effect of perceived negative impacts while simultaneously increasing support for deregulation.We conclude with a nuanced theoretical discussion to analyze how free market ideology might normalize the impacts of UOGE activity.