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Oil and Gas Industry: A Research Guide

Industry Controversies

Some major controversies of this industry include:

  • Cyberattacks on infrastructure
  • Drilling and pipelines on Indigenous nations' lands
  • Drilling and pipelines near national parks
  • Environmental impact, such as water, natural habitats, and air quality
  • Financial power of integrated oil companies
  • Impact on climate change
  • Consolidated power of oil companies
  • Oil spills and leaks
  • Overuse and over-reliance on fossil fuels

Local, state, and national government agencies, along with nongovernmental organizations, have responded to these issues through various initiatives and campaigns, which sometimes include oil and gas companies themselves as partners. Some groups and individuals have lead public protests surrounding specific events, such as the Dakota Access Pipeline protest to protect the waters and ground near Standing Rock and Fort Berthold Indian Reservations. Sample resources and select organizations reporting on these topics are included in this guide as examples and/or overviews. Information on oil spills and gas leaks are on a separate page within this guide.


The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.