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In Pennsylvania, where oil and gas drilling is a long-established industry, environmental justice is a contested issue. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, environmental justice is “...the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies.”
Defining Justice in Oil and Gas Communities, a project housed in the School for the Future of Innovation in Society, uses mapping technology to explore place-based environmental justice issues. The project sheds light on how race and poverty, two key indicators, fall short and introduces different avenues of assessment. In doing so, the program reveals the complex nature of socio-technical energy systems and offers guidance for policy makers.