There can be tensions when a large company makes a multi-million-dollar deal with a community to build facilities. Tensions can be even higher if the company is a fossil fuel company.
In a situation like that, those who are for economic development can be viewed as in opposition to environmental protection. Those who want to preserve the environment can be viewed as anti-jobs. Additionally, there are those in the community whose voices are never heard, those who feel left out of the process.
Jennifer Baka, a cofunded faculty member in the Institutes of Energy and the Environment, understands these tensions. Growing up in a small coal mining town outside of Scranton, Pennsylvania, she saw how industry could affect an entire community.