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Fracking: Unintended Consequences for Local Communities

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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The advent of hydraulic fracturing and the ability to bore horizontal wells have changed the energy industry for better and worse since 2005. Advancements have dramatically increased the extraction of oil from shale, but the controversial process, commonly known as fracking, has transformed North Dakotas Bakken into a major producer of oil that has affected global oil markets. The questions asked in this thesis are as follows What are the effects of unconventional shale oil exploration on local communities How can they prepare for, prevent, mitigate, and recover from the socioeconomic impacts associated with shale oil exploration What happened at the Bakken served as a case study to evaluate the holistic impact of fracking on the environment and socioeconomics of local communities at the epicenter of shale oil production. This study included an evaluation of crucial environmental issues water consumption, water quality, air quality, wastewater disposal, and seismic activity in western North Dakota. Socioeconomic concerns comprised population growth, housing availability, employment rate, community growth, taxes, infrastructure needs, and crime rate. An analysis of these impacts leads this thesis to six offer recommendations that local decision makers should consider as they strive to implement risk-reduction strategies and policies for their communities.

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Technical Report



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Approved For Public Release;

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