Past Webinar

A Community Risk-Benefit Matrix of Unconventional Gas and Oil Development

Jun 15, 2017

About the Event

Join Resources for the Future (RFF) for the 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. In 2017, the WHIMBY RFF webinar series highlighted findings from this broad research portfolio, with input from RFF and outside experts.

The first webinar in this series provided an overview of findings from in-depth literature reviews on health outcomes, induced seismicity, economic effects, housing price changes, truck traffic, educational outcomes, and the effects on local public finances. RFF experts presented 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.

Two of the impact categories—human health and housing—were discussed in depth. Lucija Muehlenbachs of the University of Calgary and RFF discussed the housing literature, and Donna Vorhees of the Health Effects Institute added her perspective to the discussion of the health impacts on local communities. RFF’s Isabel Echarte discussed a Schlumberger modeling tool that aims to aid communities and industry in quantifying local risks before drilling begins.

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



  • Alan J. Krupnick, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Isabel Echarte, Research Assistant, Resources for the Future
  • Lucija Anna Muehlenbachs, University Fellow, Resources for the Future; Assistant Professor, University of Calgary
  • Donna Vorhees, Director of Energy Research, Health Effects Institute