Study Suggests Support for Hydraulic Fracturing Grows When Development Fees Stay Local
As voters in several states consider controlling oil and gas development in their communities, new Indiana University (IU) research offers valuable insight for developers as well as local and state officials.
The IU researchers determined that oil and gas development using hydraulic fracturing is greeted with more local support when the fees paid by developers go to municipal governments rather than into county or state general funds.
“There are two reasons for this,” said researcher Naveed Paydar of IU’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs. “The public prefers to give more responsibility to local units of government because they are confident they’re the people who can best handle any problems resulting from development. And the public also has greater trust that the revenues will be spent by their municipal government in ways that benefit the local economy.”
The conclusions are based on an in-depth public opinion survey of residents in Pennsylvania counties where there is oil and gas development. The research, the first to assess the association between public revenues and local support, is described in “Fee Disbursements and the Local Acceptance of Unconventional Gas Development: Insights From Pennsylvania,” published by the journal Energy Research & Social Science.