Negative Community Impacts

Report at

New Report Documents Human Impacts of Marcellus Shale Drilling in Pa. >

Crime, Housing Costs, Traffic Fatalities & Rate of STDs Rise in High-Drilling Counties > > HARRISBURG, PA (Dec. 17, 2014) —

Communities in Pennsylvania experiencing high-intensity Marcellus Shale drilling also are seeing significant increases in crime, housing costs, traffic fatalities and their rate of sexually transmitted diseases, a new analysis from the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative released today confirmed.

The Shale Tipping Point: The Relationship of Drilling to Crime, Traffic Fatalities, STDs and Rents in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio examined the relationship between drilling activity in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia counties and the onset of significant human and social service impacts in host communities.

The report found that counties with high-drilling activity saw increases in all four impact areas studied. These impacts did not emerge consistently in counties with less intensive drilling. This finding suggests a potential threshold beyond which multiple impacts occur.

Both case studies and statistical analysis of Marcellus Shale drilling reveal some employment and income effects in Pennsylvania’s six high-drilling counties (those with at least 400 wells drilled) –  Greene, Tioga, Washington, Lycoming, Bradford and Susquehanna. High levels of drilling lead to a modest increase in employment, some of it from an influx of out-of-state workers making higher-than-average wages.  However, drilling activity and associated developments – including a transient workforce and increases in income and valuable equipment and materials on drilling sites – contribute to increases in traffic accidents, rents, STDs and crime. In turn, local governments must pay for additional first responders to address the rising crime and motor vehicle accidents, and local social service agencies must serve more families and individuals who can’t find affordable housing.

“Communities may be able to avoid or mitigate human and social service impacts by better controlling the pace of drilling. States should enact severance taxes to ensure that the industry, not taxpayers, foots the bill for these negative consequences of drilling,” report co-author and Keystone Research Center economist Dr. Mark Price said.

Some of these impacts also were apparent in the 17 medium-drilling counties (100-399 wells) and 79 low-drilling counties (fewer than 100 wells) in the three states, but the increases in these counties were not statistically significant. > > “While the pace of drilling activity in West Virginia has been such that many of the human and social service impacts have yet to be felt, the report’s findings demonstrate the delicate balancing act between development of the industry and the challenges it creates for communities,” stated Sean O’Leary, fiscal policy analyst with the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. “One way in which West Virginia is prepared to meet the challenges is with the revenue it raises through its severance tax and the creation of its Future Fund.”

The purpose of the Future Fund — which will receive three percent of general revenue severance tax collections on coal, oil, natural gas, limestone and sandstone — is to set aside funds for the future when energy reserves are depleted. > > Amanda Woodrum, a researcher for Policy Matters Ohio, said while it is too early in Ohio’s shale industry development for conclusive results, Ohioans can look to trends in Pennsylvania to inform their expectations. “With increased understanding of the many negative impacts of fracking, it may be time Ohio considers whether the costs may, in fact, end up exceeding the benefits of shale development.” Woodrum said. > > The report’s main findings on drilling’s social impacts include:

Violent crime increased 17.7% and property crime 10.8% in the six high-drilling counties, compared to no statistically significant increases in medium- and low-drilling counties. > Between 2005 and 2012, drug abuse rates rose 48% and DUI offenses were up 65% in the six high-drilling counties.  Since 2005, rates of chlamydia infection across all the drilling counties increased 24%, compared to non-drilling counties. > Truck-involved traffic fatalities increased in high-drilling counties by 27.8%. > Social impacts apparent in Pennsylvania were unobserved in West Virginia, perhaps because drilling development there has been slower and less concentrated, and were only beginning to appear in Ohio in 2012, the last year of the study, when drilling there had just begun to accelerate. > >

The report also found that:  Pennsylvania accounts for four-fifths, or 72%, of the wells drilled across the three states since 2002. Six high-drilling Pennsylvania counties account for 52% of all the wells drilled. > Drilling has had only a modest impact on employment in the three states, particularly when measured as a share of total employment. The bulk of the employment gains were in the six high-drilling counties. Total growth in mining and natural resources employment in the three states from 2005 to 2012 was just over 25,000 jobs, or .22% of all employment. > Little evidence exists of significant population growth resulting from drilling in any of the three states. > >

In human terms, the high-drilling counties by 2012 experienced about 130 more violent crimes, 819 more property crimes, and 160 more cases of chlamydia each year as a result of the intensity of shale extraction.  The report concludes that as the pace of drilling increases in low- and medium-drilling counties, their communities can expect the same increases in negative human and social service impacts already seen in high-drilling counties. > > Dr. Stephen Herzenberg, economist and executive director of the Keystone Research Center, noted that “Our research shows that when the scale of shale development is sufficient to move the needle on total employment and income, it is also sufficient to worsen the social problems identified in this report – no shale jobs gain without community pain.” Communities with untapped shale deposits need to understand this trade-off so they can weigh their options and prepare in an informed way if drilling does expand to them. > > This project was supported through grants from the Heinz Endowments, Stoneman Family Foundation, Hillsdale Foundation and Park Foundation.


The Keystone Research Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization that promotes a more prosperous and equitable Pennsylvania economy. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a non-partisan policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of current or proposed policies on working families.

FERC plans to sell out US citizens for pennies on the dollar

Written by Ursula Halferty, Blacksburg, VA

Purported economic benefits for citizens of Virginia from the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline: Has anyone done the math?

Purported economic benefits for citizens of Virginia for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline are outlined in reports on their websites. (See links reference below).

According to MVP:

Local communities benefit from the new natural gas supply in multiple ways:

  1. Regional energy reliability and access to domestic, clean-burning natural gas
  2. Construction jobs and revenues through property and severance taxes
  3. Overall local stimulus of services and resources required for expansion
  4. During the design and construction of the project the communities along the pipeline route will benefit from the commercial activities associated with the development of the pipeline (hotels, restaurants, small businesses, gas stations, etc)


#1 hypothesis is false because this proposed project is a transmission pipeline, and there is minimal infrastructure in place in this part of the state to accommodate, without significant additional local government investments. This region in the state of Virginia does not have the money or tax revenues to support this assumption. If EQT/Nextera had done their homework they would know not to make a statement like that. Everyone knows that these companies have every intention of shipping the gas overseas to other counties.

#2 According to Dominions report, $1.4 Billion will come to the state through economic activity during the construction period of 6 years (2014-2019). MVP reports $369 Million in benefits will come to Virginia in a two year period of construction. Let’s break that down:

Either we are comparing apples to oranges or MVP has over exaggerated the economic benefits of the project. Dominion, although not a project we Virginians want either, offers more conservative numbers.

MVP shares no information related to overall economic activity benefits for Virginia either during or after the project. That is because they know, there are none. Estimated tax revenues are totally out of line, as compared to Dominion. Dominion is a domestic corporation and we would think can provide a truer picture of the taxes returned to Virginia.

How many Virginians are they really going to hire? We need real numbers. Even the jobs after the project is complete, the salaries purported by MVP are higher than those reported by Dominion. The salary range for this part of Virginia is much lower than the average for the state. So they are either trying to painting a much rosier picture, which will not happen once they do their homework, or they are being plain deceitful. MVP provides an aggregate total number of jobs to be 5,150 with a peak employment of 4,300 in 2018. I guess there will be zero afterwards.

If the corporations, who would ultimately build the project, will be sub-contractors, as MVP has clearly stated, and they are not Virginia State Corporations, and the workers are not Virginians, then any income taxes paid by those workers will go back to the state of the employees’ residency, NOT VIRGINIA. So the numbers of employees and the related taxes are not for the benefit of Virginia.

Regarding the Ad Valorum or Severance taxes, since EQT is suing Wise and Dickerson County to get their taxes back, how can we trust them not to sue the affected counties for taxes after this project is done?

Dom_MVP economic benefits analysis 12.2014


#3 Overall local stimulus for expansion of services and resources required for expansion.

What exactly does this statement mean and what would that include? Stealing people’s property, so they have to hire attorneys, while ruining communities and neighborhoods? Again in the long run this is a transmission pipeline that is only going to move dangerous high pressure fracked unnatural gas through the area. Check back with item number one to see that this region doesn’t have the money for expansion of services and based on the tiny amount that will be paid to the state, what is the real amount that will trickle back to local governments? Probably none.


#4”During the design of and construction”, well I believe the design is going on already somewhere else, so that statement is false. Communities along the pipeline route will benefit from commercial activities – really? How many real people equal the aggregate number jobs along the pipeline? Are these people going to overrun our local communities for 2 years and create major havoc with local residents for the limited resources that we have? This comment goes hand in hand with the fact and proves that the real paying jobs will not be going to local Virginians.

After the pipeline is complete, EQT will pay and local counties will receive tax revenues. Why is the rate that EQT reporting twice as much as Dominion? How can we trust EQT since EQT is now suing Wise and Dickerson Counties to have their taxes returned to them?

Has anyone else done the math? FERC is selling us out!

The Dominion pipeline reports that they will pay an average return of 29 cents during construction and 3 cents per Virginian after the construction. If you can believe EQT that they will pay $2.11 for 2 years and 4 cents for the long run benefit of 20 years for each Virginians benefit. Is that all we are worth!

EQT and EQM (EQT Mid-stream Partners) each paid a quarterly dividend of 3 cents per share. And they have the nerve to project into and beyond 2015 that they will have increasing revenues based on the proposed Mountain Valley Pipeline, that hasn’t even been approved yet! Nextera paid 73 cents per share. Looks to me we Virginians are not getting a good return on our investments!! I can skip a burger once a year to make up the “big” benefit I would forgo if this pipeline would not be built.





I Worked in a Strip Club in a North Dakota Fracking Boomtown

Interesting to see the empty promises of potential economic benefits and types of potential workers these high paying jobs will bring with them.