Past Webinar

Designing Shale Gas Leases for Landowner and Environmental Protection

Sep 6, 2017

About the Event

This webinar is a joint effort from Penn State University and Resources for the Future (RFF), hosted by RFF.

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. The negotiation and signing of leases represent a key moment in the oil and gas development process when landowners can articulate any concerns, protect their assets, and ensure appropriate compensation. Improved access to information and coordination among landowners can help them to negotiate better terms—and even additional measures for environmental protection, above those required by law—when leasing land to energy companies for oil and gas development.

This webinar featured findings from an ongoing RFF study on energy lease terms for landowners in Washington County, Pennsylvania, an area undergoing rapid oil and gas development. RFF’s Casey Wichman and Brandon Cunningham discussed their assessment of lease clauses as proxies for environmental regulatory protection. They also highlighted implications for practices that maximize benefits and lease productivity for landowners in oil and gas regions.

Grace Wildermuth of Penn State University gave an overview of functioning landowner coalitions in oil- and gas-rich areas. She focused on joint lease negotiations, as well as the formation, coordination, and organizational processes of these coalitions.

Join RFF for other webinars in this series: WHIMBY—What’s Happening in My Backyard? The Community Impacts of Unconventional Gas and Oil Development.

To help understand the benefits and costs to local communities experiencing unconventional oil and gas development, experts at RFF have undertaken extensive research over the past two years and partnered with experts at Penn State University and elsewhere to highlight their findings in this ongoing webinar series.



  • Casey J. Wichman, Fellow
  • Brandon Cunningham, Research Assistant
  • Grace Wildermuth, Fellow, Penn State University