The Benefits and Battles of Local Communities Engulfed in the Newest Energy Boom

Lindsay Hoskins
Lehigh University Marcellus Shale - Lindsay Hoskins
Journalism 2014

Research Paper: 

Lehigh University Marcellus Shale - The Benefits and Battles of Local Communities Engulfed in the Newest Energy Boom


Natural gas exploration is the newest gold rush in the United States. Drilling for natural gas is a process that involves local communities in many ways. One of the most lucrative and positive impacts can be seen economically through business, leasing, and governmental actions. The money may be flowing in, however there are also issues that citizens have with the way they are being treated. While positive impacts may be obvious, there are also negative impacts that can follow. There are three reasons it is important to look into positive and negative economic impacts natural gas exploration has on local communities.

It is important to look at the positive impacts the gas companies can have on local communities because fracking has garnered a bad reputation at a national level. Positive information can influence public opinion, especially those who oppose fracking. While covering negatives can be useful for problem prevention in the future, covering positives can help give gas exploration a future. With potentially 100 more years of drilling ahead of America, it is important to know what the future holds.

It is also important to study the economic impacts to see what is happening to communities where fracking is occurring so they can be used as case studies for towns that will be involved with fracking in the future. Many communities have not yet been confronted by gas companies, but could potentially be in the future. It is important to the controversy of fracking because it will help show whether there is some promise for the future of communities, and help them from maybe making the same mistakes previous ones did.

The most essential factor is sustainability for communities. The economical aspect deals with how communities are to survive once the industry may leave their towns. It is essential to any community’s economy to know how to manage an influx of economy to prevent a potential crash in the end. This is also important because if this industry is to be accepted on a local and national scale, there must be evidence that progress happened in communities it as affected.