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How Should We Think About the Economic Consequences of Shale Gas Drilling?

In New York and Pennsylvania, the public debate about the prospect or continuation of high volume hydraulic fracturing for shale gas has revolved around its environmental impacts, particularly its effects on water quality, while taking as a given that exploitation of this new natural gas asset will produce significant economic benefits for the states’ economies.

If we want to understand how this new kind of natural gas drilling will affect communities in Pennsylvania and New York, the economic impact models that have been used to project potential benefits and job creation give us only a fraction of the information we need.

To fully assess the economic effects, policy makers and citizens need to understand what will drive the pace and scale of drilling and the associated boom-bust cycle. This cycle will have implications for jobs, revenues, the cumulative impact of shale gas development, and the longer-term economic development prospects for drilling regions within the Marcellus Shale area.

 

Authors: Susan Christopherson and Ned Rightor

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