Today@Sam Article

Professor Researches Social Impacts Of Shale Oil And Gas

Aug. 1, 2017
SHSU Media Contact: Tyler Pointer


Sam Houston State University professor of sociology Gene Theodori recently completed research as a part of The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas Shale Task Force that was convened in late 2015 and published a final report in June.

The purpose of the 19-member TAMEST Shale Task Force was to investigate the environmental and community impacts of shale oil and gas development in the state of Texas.

Theodori’s role in the task force was to serve as the lead investigator and lead author for the Economic and Social Impacts area of the report.

“Much of the research on the social impacts and perceptions of shale energy development in Texas that is summarized in this report was conducted by my colleagues, my former students and myself,” Theodori said. “As a faculty member, I’ve been the recipient of approximately $2.2 million in research and scholarly funding from several entities. The vast majority of that was acquired to conduct the research on the social and community impacts of shale energy development.”

According to Theodori, TAMEST convened and sponsored the project to produce a consensus report that provides science-based information on what Texas has learned from its experience in shale oil and gas development.

“We hope that other states and nations may find the report useful,” Theodori said. “No funding was sought or accepted from oil and gas in Texas industry interests for this project.”

Theodori believes the main purpose of this task force was to bring all the scientific research on shale oil and gas together into one document.

“I think this document does well in identifying what the positives and negatives are,” Theodori said. “More research is needed to combat the negative side.”

The next step for the Shale Task Force is to disseminate the findings to policy makers, local leaders and communities across the state.

For more information on the TAMEST Shale Task Force and their findings, visit their website or view the final report.

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