Firm adoption of voluntary management practices is one proposed method of mitigating oil and gas development externalities while promoting flexibility in regulations. Where they face social challenges or uncertainties, firms may even voluntarily select deliberative processes in site planning thereby increasing stakeholder involvement. This article tests the potential for adoption of voluntary engagement practices to reduce the likelihood of citizen complaints. Using a dataset of complaints and practices from the state of Colorado, this article finds that adoption of engagement practices and further deliberation about sites is not associated with altered odds of observing a complaint at a wellsite once other variables are controlled. Where more voluntary management practices of any type are adopted, the odds of observing a complaint are higher. Inclusion of engagement and deliberation weaken this association. Finally, large companies, as defined by well counts, are more likely to adopt engagement and deliberation practices that can form the basis of collaboration than are small companies. This indicates that use of voluntary management practices is dependent on the resources available to individual firms, and thus, the environmental and social benefits of such policies are likely to accrue unevenly.
Energy Policy – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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