Navigating Shale Gas Development: A Guidebook for Local Government Officials in Pennsylvania
Shale gas development has raised concerns that local governments might be entering a “boom and bust” cycle. ELI and the W&J Center have produced this practical guidebook for communities in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale region to inform local officials and community organizations of some of their options to assure their communities receive long-term benefits from the development. The guidebook was produced in conjunction with a study, Getting the Boom Without the Bust: Guiding Southwestern Pennsylvania Through Shale Gas Development, that examines the gas boom in the region and explores best practices to forestall or mitigate a subsequent economic downturn or “bust.” A key focus of the study is the distribution and expenditure of state impact fees assessed on the gas industry. The W&J Center also conducted a survey of municipal and county officials in Pennsylvania’s Washington and Greene Counties, Research Survey on Effects of Marcellus Shale Development on Communities. These new publications, including information on health studies, water use, air quality, jobs and tax policy, should be useful elsewhere as other states and communities make legal and policy decisions that will affect both the energy landscape and communities for years to come.