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Title:Similar projects, dissimilar reactions: An examination of landowner perceptions of energy infrastructure construction in rural Illinois
Author(s):Vogel, Kealie D
Advisor(s):Johnson, McKenzie F
Department / Program:Natural Res & Env Sci
Discipline:Natural Res & Env Sciences
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.S.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):pipelines
oil
landowners
rural
Abstract:Rural areas in the United States have been increasingly characterized as essential to the present and future of US energy development. Despite this characterization, comparatively little is known about rural landowners’ values, experiences, and concerns related to the use of rural lands for energy infrastructure development. In this thesis, I analyze landowner experiences with two major energy infrastructure projects in Illinois to understand and contextualize 1) how and why rural landowners react to energy infrastructure construction and 2) industry and regulatory responses to landowner concerns. Through an examination of regulatory expert interviews, household surveys, and court documents, I identify key concerns motivating landowner reactions to infrastructure development and analyze industry and regulatory counter-reactions, or lack thereof, to these concerns. Communities have little trust that the government will provide for them, e.g. protect citizens from harmful development projects, guard against industrial exploitation, or consider environmental or social concerns, beyond the basic requirement to ensure compensation for land utilized for energy development. When land compensation is inadequate, landowners view the government as failing to guarantee the one expected benefit, which validates landowner assumptions, stemming from the initial lack of trust, that the government is useless and corrupt. As a result, although landowners generally feel that resistance to energy development is ultimately futile, instances of resistance do emerge when landowners feel that the one form of compensation they can count on receiving is not forthcoming, although the success of this resistance depends on resulting industry and regulatory reactions. Findings have implications for the ability of citizens to effectively express concerns related to energy development in their communities and infrastructure development within the US energy transition.
Issue Date:2021-07-07
Type:Thesis
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/113276
Rights Information:Copyright 2021 Kealie Vogel
Date Available in IDEALS:2022-01-12
Date Deposited:2021-08


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