Shale gas development has raised concerns that local governments might be entering a “boom and bust” cycle. This study examines the gas boom in Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale, 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. In addition to the study, Getting the Boom Without the Bust: Guiding Southwestern Pennsylvania Through Shale Gas Development, ELI and the W&J Center have produced a practical guidebook to inform local officials and community organizations of some of their options, Navigating Shale Gas Development: A Guidebook for Local Government Officials in Pennsylvania. 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.
Getting the Boom Without the Bust: Guiding Southwestern Pennsylvania Through Shale Gas Development