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'You're In Oil Country': Moral Tales of Citizen Action against Petroleum Development in Alberta, Canada

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Abstract:

The Canadian province of Alberta has experienced phenomenal growth in its oil and gas industry. As the petroleum-industrial complex expands it has sparked a number of community-based conflicts over noxious facilities that are seen by some to be the cause of a number of health problems. The research reported here used two case studies to examine siting conflicts involving natural gas extraction facilities in rural Alberta. We found that the stories shared by citizens involved in these conflicts functioned as 'moral tales'. These moral tales were political in the way they challenged implicit and institutionalized rationales for redistributing benefits and burdens of oil and gas development. They also created a space for collective action by articulating spatial transgressions and by constructing a type of moral citizenship.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13668790902753070

Affiliations: 1: School of Geography and Earth Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada 2: Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Publication date: March 1, 2009

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