Hilary Boudet

Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Policy, Oregon State University
Chapter Member: Oregon SSN

About Hilary

Boudet's research interests include environmental and energy policy, social movements, and public participation in energy and environmental decision making. She teaches courses on energy and society, social movements and research methods. 


Community Responses to Large-Scale Energy Projects

In the News

"Trump’s ‘Energy Dominance’ Ambitions Hit Another Snag on the West Coast," Hilary Boudet (with Shawn Olson Hazboun), The Conversation, May 8, 2019.
Hilary Boudet quoted on public opinion of fracking by Ken Broda-Bahm, "The Oil and Gas Juror: Look for Both Familiarity and Contempt" JD Supra, May 7, 2018.
Hilary Boudet's research on Steve Law, "Neighbors Tend to Support Fracking until It Grows Too Common," Portland Tribune, May 3, 2018.
Hilary Boudet's research on fracking and public opinion discussed by "Proximity to Fracking Sites Affects Public Support of Them, Study Finds," EurekAlert!, April 30, 2018.
Hilary Boudet quoted on energy use and education by Elizabeth Harrington, "Feds Spend $999,951 Getting Kids to Scold Parents into Using Less Energy" The Washington Free Beacon, March 29, 2018.
Hilary Boudet's research on energy discussed by David Appell, "Girl Scouts Teach Parents Energy-Saving Steps," Climate Connections, November 11, 2016.
Hilary Boudet's research on energy discussed by Chelsea Harvey, "The Best Way to Teach Adults to Save Energy Might be through Their Children," The Washington Post, July 11, 2016.
Hilary Boudet's research on energy discussed by Karan Kaplan, "Science Proves It: Girl Scouts Really Do Make the World a Better Place," Los Angeles times, July 11, 2016.


"Effects of a Behavior Change Intervention for Girl Scouts on Child and Parent Energy-Saving Behaviors" (with Nicole Ardoin, June Flora, K. Carrie Armel, Manisha Desai, and Thomas Robinson). Nature Energy 1, no. 16091 (2016).

Demonstrates that Girl Scouts and their parents reported increased energy-saving behaviors following an intervention aimed at the children.

"To Act or Not to Act: Context, Capability, and Community Response to Environmental Risk" (with Rachel Wright). American Journal of Sociology 118, no. 3 (2013): 728-77.

Examines twenty communities “at risk” for mobilization because they face controversial energy infrastructure projects. We find that community context shapes motivations to oppose or accept a proposal, not objective measures of threat. We conclude that the combination of community context and capability is the best way to model movement emergence.

"The Effect of Industry Activities on Public Support for ‘Fracking'" (with Dylan Budgen, Chad Zanocco, and Edward Maibach). Environmental Politics 25, no. 4 (2016): 593-612.

Combines geospatial data on extractive industry activities and survey data from a nationally representative sample, the influence of extractive industry activities on support for fracking is studied. While limited evidence is found for the impact of proximity to oil and gas wells or production on support for fracking, employment levels in the natural resources and mining sector in the respondent’s county and residence in an area experiencing active oil and gas development significantly increase support for fracking. 

Putting Social Movements in Their Place: Explaining Opposition to Energy Projects in the United States, 2000-2005 (with Doug McAdam) (Cambridge University Press, August 2012).

Reports the results of a comparative study, not of movements, but of 20 communities earmarked for environmentally risky energy projects. In stark contrast to the central thrust of the social movement literature, the authors find that the overall level of emergent opposition to the projects to have been very low, and they seek to explain that variation and the impact, if any, it had on the ultimate fate of the proposed projects.

"“Fracking” Controversy and Communication: Using National Survey Data to Understand Public Perceptions of Hydraulic Fracturing" (with Christopher Clarke, Dylan Budgen, Edward Maibach, Connie Roser-Renouf, and Anthony Leiserowitz). Energy Policy 65 (2014): 57-67.

Examines public perceptions of hydraulic fracturing including: “top of mind” associations; familiarity with the issue; levels of support/opposition; and predictors of such judgments. Our results suggest limited familiarity with the process and its potential impacts and considerable uncertainty about whether to support it. Women, those holding egalitarian worldviews, those who read newspapers more than once a week, those more familiar with hydraulic fracturing, and those who associate the process with environmental impacts are more likely to oppose fracking. In contrast, people more likely to support fracking tend to be older, hold a bachelor's degree or higher, politically conservative, watch TV news more than once a week, and associate the process with positive economic or energy supply outcomes.