A Black Feminist Discourse on Hydraulic Fracking

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Abstract Summary

There have been many discussions in recent years relating to hydraulic fracturing in North Carolina. As early as 2010, heated debates between environmental agencies and pro-fracking energy companies began, which eventually led to a state lawsuit between Clean Water North Carolina and the North Carolina Oil and Gas Commission. In 2015 this lawsuit resulted in a three-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing procedures and processes. It was the predominantly Black Community of Walnut Cove that was listed in the lawsuit. Historically the town of Walnut Cove has faced environmental injustices and racism, including water and air pollution resulting form coal production. The personal accounts of environmental injustice from the citizens of Walnut Cove were key testimonies used by Clean Air North Carolina. The case of Walnut Cove marks an important moment in the fracking debates primarily because it serves as the only discussion of fracking in Black communities. I examine the case of Walnut Cove, through a Black feminist environmental justice framework to analyze economic, political, and social discourse relating to hydraulic fracturing.

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