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Building Energy-Agriculture Linkages through Unconventional Energy: A Literature Review

Authors: Zachary Goldberg*, Penn State University, Jenn Baka, Penn State University, Karl Zimmerer, Penn State University
Topics: Land Use, Human-Environment Geography, Natural Resources
Keywords: energy, agriculture, nexus, fracking, unconventional energy, food, shale
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Energy and agriculture production are increasingly recognized as being interlinked as scholars have advocated for the need for cross-sectoral governance. Commonly cited linkages include the production of crops intended for fuel rather than food and the energy needs of agricultural production, which requires energy to produce, process, transport and store food supplies. Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) development on agricultural land presents a case study of the diversity of ways that energy and agriculture have been examined together that allows use to build out the many connections between food and energy. While water has generally taken center stage in the discussions between UOG and agriculture, there are many other connections that aren’t directly related to water, including environmental (i.e. road and infrastructure placement), social (i.e. payments to farmers, economic development, and cultural changes), and food impacts (i.e. farm investments, crop production, and food safety concerns). Therefore, there is a need to consider a greater diversity of UOG development impacts on agriculture.

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