Blog Post

RFF Webinar Series: Community Impacts of Unconventional Gas and Oil Development

Jun 6, 2017 | Laura Zachary

Join Resources for the Future (RFF) and Penn State University for a 2017 webinar series:WHIMBY—What’s Happening in My Backyard? The Community Impacts of Unconventional Gas and Oil Development.

Since the early 2000s, unconventional oil and gas development has revolutionized the US energy landscape. On a macro level, many of the benefits and costs seem fairly clear. How local communities have fared, however, is less well understood. Over the past two years, experts at RFF have undertaken an extensive series of original research projects designed to examine and, when possible, quantify the benefits and costs to local communities experiencing unconventional oil and gas development. This year, a new RFF webinar series will highlight findings from this broad research portfolio, with input from RFF, Penn State University, and other expert panelists.

Join us for Upcoming WHIMBY Webinars

Additional webinars in this series will explore:

  • Community fiscal health conditions during an industry downturn
  • Options for enhancing industry–community engagement

Catch up on Past WHIMBY Webinars

A Community Risk-Benefit Matrix of Unconventional Gas and Oil Development
June 15, 2017
The first webinar in this series provides an overview of findings from in-depth literature reviews, focusing on the impacts of unconventional oil and gas development on health and housing prices. RFF experts present the “Community Risk-Benefit Matrix,” in which they rate the literature reviewed according to the prevalence, consistency, and quality of findings across studies and regions. Watch the video.

Exploring the Effects of Energy Resource Booms on Public Education
August 10, 2017
This webinar explores the findings of an extensive RFF study examining the effects of unconventional oil and gas development on school districts across six oil- and gas-producing states—Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, North Dakota, Montana, and Colorado. Watch the video.

Mitigating the Effects of Energy Resource Booms on Water Consumption
August 21, 2017
Rapid resource development can impact local communities through numerous channels. This webinar focuses on water withdrawals for natural gas development and the impact of related government regulations. Watch the video.

Designing Shale Gas Leases for Landowner and Environmental Protection
September 6, 2017
Energy lease agreements for land in oil- and gas-producing regions come with trade-offs—not only for landowners, but also for local communities and the environment. This webinar shares findings from an ongoing RFF study on energy lease terms for landowners in Washington County, Pennsylvania, an area undergoing rapid oil and gas development.

Learn more about this RFF research initiative: The Community Impacts of Shale Gas and Oil Development.

For questions about this webinar series, contact Laura Zachary at or Kristin Hayes at

The views expressed in RFF blog posts are those of the authors and should not be attributed to Resources for the Future.