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Managing the Risks of Shale Gas: Key Findings and Further Research

Managing the Risks of Shale Gas Development

In 2011, RFF’s Center for Energy Economics and Policy (CEEP) launched an initiative to conduct an independent, broad assessment of the key environmental  risks associated with the shale gas development process.

A summary of the key findings from this initiative is available here: Managing the Risks of Shale Gas: Key Findings and Further Research


Completed Reports and Analyses

Pathways to Dialogue: What the Experts Say about the Environmental Risks of Shale Gas Development
This report is a survey-based analysis of experts from government agencies, industry, academia, and nongovernmental organizations to identify the priority environmental risks related to shale gas development—those for which the experts believe government regulation and/or voluntary industry practices are currently inadequate to protect the public or the environment. (View the risk matrix for shale gas development—a catalogue of all the plausible environmental risks associated with the development of shale gas—which was the basis for the survey.)

Shale Gas Development Impacts on Surface Water Quality in Pennsylvania
This study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that shale gas development can adversely affect surface water quality by increasing the downstream concentrations of two pollutants, chloride and total suspended solids.

The Housing Market Impacts of Shale Gas Development
In an expansion of a previous one-county study, the authors of this RFF discussion paper use property value data from New York and Pennsylvania to look at the impacts of proximity to a shale gas well on home values. As their earlier research indicated, the effects differ depending on whether homes have access to piped water versus well groundwater.   


The State of State Shale Gas Regulation
RFF researchers analyzed shale gas regulations in the 31 states that have significant shale gas reserves to identify how 25 important regulatory elements are applied in each state.

About the Research Team

The RFF research team led the development of various studies and reports that were released as part of this initiative. From left to right: Jhih-Shyang Shih, Juha Siikamäki, (back row) Lucija A. Muehlenbachs, Jan Mares, Alan J. Krupnick, Nathan Richardson, Hal Gordon, (front row) Kristin Hayes, Ziyan Chu, Madeline Gottlieb, and Sheila Olmstead.