Ethics in the Barnett Shale: Comparing Transparency Practices Among Operators

Authors: Brittany Jandick*, University of North Texas
Topics: Energy, Human-Environment Geography, Environment
Keywords: Fracking, Ethics, Transparency, Barnett Shale
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM
Room: Napoleon Foyer/Common St. Corridor, Sheraton, 3rd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Ethical behavior among U.S extractive industries is difficult to identify and implement. This is partly due to the differing perspectives on the definitions of ethical behavior. For example, the ethics of transparency and the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, differ depending on viewpoint or perspective. How can operators behave ethically if ethical behavior can be defined in different ways? In this study, I examine the ethics of transparency and the disclosure of fracking chemicals among Barnett Shale operators. I examine operator ethics from three perspectives: business, justice, and political. The purpose of this study is to advance understandings of ethics in US extractive industries, particularly among oil and gas operators. It also contributes to broad discussions on the ethics of oil and gas development in local communities and how to approach environmental policymaking. To determine if definitions of ethical behavior overlap, I am going to compare the behavior among operators without Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) statements to those with CSR statements, as well as compare who and who does not disclose chemical information on FracFocus. Findings suggest that depending on which perspective ethics of transparency are viewed from, some operators are ethical while others are not. Most likely operators will be ethical from a business perspective, not ethical from a justice perspective, and it will be mixed from a political perspective

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