The power of the talking points: Persuasive power and the challenges of sustainable natural resource development

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Department of Social Sciences


Between 2000 and 2016, shale gas production in the United States increased from approximately 2 billion cubic feet of daily production to approximately 42 billion cubic feet (US EIA, 2016). Much of this development has occurred in the Midwestern United States, where approximately half of US shale production currently takes places (US EIA, 2016; Ridlington et al., 2016). Traveling through some of the rural parts of this region may elicit two common sights: wellheads and roadside bars. This chapter is inspired by a particular event in which these two common landmarks intersected. When conducting research on community perceptions of local development of high- volume hydraulic fracturing activities, a participant confidentially shared a hard copy of “Talking Points for Selling Oil and Gas Lease Rights” (the “Guidelines”), several pages of typed notes marked “Proprietary,” clearly intended to guide landmen in the process of talking to landowners about selling access to the resources that potentially lie under their feet (Kreuze et al., 2016).

Publisher's Statement

© 2018 selection and editorial matter, Chelsea Schelly and Aparajita Banerjee; individual chapters, the contributors. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.4324/9781315099996

Publication Title

Environmental Policy and the Pursuit of Sustainability