Lessons from an Early-Mover: Shale Gas Policy Development in Pennsylvania

Review of Policy Research, Forthcoming

24 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2012 Last revised: 20 Mar 2013

See all articles by Barry G. Rabe

Barry G. Rabe

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy

Christopher P. Borick

Muhlenberg College

Date Written: June 1, 2012

Abstract

The emergence of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques is generating a dramatic expansion of the development of domestic natural gas resources in the United States and abroad. Fracking also poses a series of environmental protection challenges that cut across traditional medium and program boundaries. Formal constraints on federal government engagement thus far devolve considerable latitude to individual states for policy development. This provides an important test of whether recent scholarly emphasis on highly-innovative state environmental and energy policies can be extended to this burgeoning area. Pennsylvania has moved to the epicenter of the fracking revolution, reflecting its vast Marcellus Shale resource and far-reaching 2012 legislation. This paper examines the Pennsylvania case and notes that the emerging Pennsylvania policy appears designed to maximize resource extraction while downplaying environmental considerations. The case analysis generates questions as to whether this experience constitutes an influential state early-mover that is likely to diffuse widely or is instead an aberration in a rapidly-developing state policy development process.

Keywords: energy policy, hydraulic fracking policy, state environmental policy

JEL Classification: H70, H77

Suggested Citation

Rabe, Barry G. and Borick, Christopher P., Lessons from an Early-Mover: Shale Gas Policy Development in Pennsylvania (June 1, 2012). Review of Policy Research, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1908747 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1908747

Barry G. Rabe (Contact Author)

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy ( email )

735 South State Street, Weill Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
734.615.9596 (Phone)

Christopher P. Borick

Muhlenberg College ( email )

2400 West Chew St
Allentown, PA Pennsylvania 18104
United States

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