About the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative
What Is the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative?

The Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative brings together independent, nonpartisan research and policy organizations in New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia to monitor employment trends, tax policy, economic development, and the community impacts of energy extraction in the Marcellus and Utica Shale. As part of this effort, the Collaborative conducts in-depth research and interviews in order to produce trend analyses, policy recommendations, and other resources that will help local officials and community leaders respond to the local impacts of drilling. Member organizations include the Fiscal Policy Institute (New York), Policy Matters Ohio, Keystone Research Center/Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis (Virginia), and West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. Read a profile of the Collaborative in Midwest Energy News.

Project Overview

Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative

The rapid industrial development of deep shale gas has placed additional and overlapping demands on paramedic, fire, first responder, police, court, jail, and other municipal services. It has also impacted county planning, hospitals, homeless shelters, emergency housing, social clinics, schools, and other community services and institutions. While there has been some collection of trend data at the township and county level, there has been no systematic attempt to aggregate these valuable sources of information across shale drilling regions and across issue areas.

That is where the Multi-State Shale Research Collaborative comes in. Researchers at the five organizations have analyzed existing data and conducted interviews with township and county officials in four heavy shale drilling counties (Tioga and Greene counties in Pennsylvania, Carroll County in Ohio, and Wetzel County in West Virginia) in order to measure impacts.

The following questions guide our research:
  • What are the impacts of increased gas drilling on housing, emergency services, crime, human services, roads, health care services, education, and community life?
  • What steps have local governments taken to mitigate these impacts?
  • What are the costs of these impacts and to what extent have local governments been able to offset those costs?


The Heinz Endowments, Hillsdale Fund, Park Foundation, and Stoneman Family Foundation are supporting the work of the Collaborative.

Research Advisory Committee

Name Educational Institution/Organization
David Passmore Penn State
Kai Schafft Penn State
Rose Baker Penn State
Tom Kinnaman Bucknell
Mark Partridge Ohio State University
Jill Kriesky Environmental Health Project
Nancy White Bucknell
Heather Feldhaus Bloomsburg / Geisinger
Tim Kelsey Penn State
Mark Shanahan New Morning Energy
Bill Faith Coalition on Housing and Homelessness

Member Organizations

Fiscal Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and education organization committed to improving public policies and private practices to better the economic and social conditions of all New Yorkers. Founded in 1991, FPI works to create a strong economy in which prosperity is broadly shared.

Policy Matters Ohio is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research organization founded in January 2000 to broaden the debate about economic policy in Ohio. Its mission is to create a more prosperous, equitable, sustainable and inclusive Ohio, through research, media work and policy advocacy.

The Keystone Research Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization founded in 1996 to promote a more prosperous and equitable Pennsylvania economy. The Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center is a nonpartisan policy research project of the Keystone Research Center that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget and related policy matters, with attention to their impact on working families.

The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis provides credible, independent and accessible information and analyses of fiscal and economic issues with particular attention to the impacts on low- and moderate-income persons.

The West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy is a nonpartisan, nonprofit policy research organization that produces research and analysis designed to support informed public dialog and policy in West Virginia.

Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Keystone Research Center
Fiscal Policy Institute
Policy Matters Ohio
The Commonwealth Institute
West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy