Fracking Futures: Political-Ecological and Socioeconomic Realities in Southwestern Manitoba’s Oil Field
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has arrived in southwestern Manitoba enabling oil companies to drill in formally inaccessible and uneconomic areas on the fringes of the Bakken Shale. My study analyzes the regulatory framework, assessment regime, and potential political-ecological and socioeconomic effects of new fracking technologies in Manitoba. I look beyond fracking as a technical exercise, engaging with it as a situated lived experience. Through purposive qualitative interviews with those affected by the industry, immersion in the field and an evaluation of grey literature studies, I describe the attitudes and realities of people living amidst the fracking boom. I ultimately unfold the narrative of fracking in the province to reveal a neoliberal program that I argue puts economic and technical desires above public health and environmental concerns.