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Natural Gas and Marcellus Related Projects

This project creates a framework and foundation for identifying, gathering, and analyzing timely and salient social, economic, and environmental data associated with energy development, and then provides this information to industry and other stakeholders so that the variant social, economic, and environmental impacts can be minimized and/or avoided.

Funding source: Houston Advanced Research Center and Sam Houston State University cooperatively

As part of this effort, a "Best Practices Communication Toolkit/Handbook" will be produced to improve communication and guide the use of effective community engagement activities between industry actors and local community residents/leaders. Successful completion of this project has the potential to speed up the use of new and existing technologies, services, practices, and methods, and to assure these technologies will be accepted by industry, regulators, and the public. Recognizing and pro-actively addressing the concerns of key stakeholders and the general public can lesson unnecessarily long and complicated delays, civic actions, and litigation.

These projects objectives include:

  • The empirical examination of individuals' perception of the energy industry and the public's interest, knowledge, attitudes, experience, current behaviors, and behavioral intentions with respect to energy exploration and production issues in the Eagle Ford and Marcellus Shale plays
  • Enhancing two-way communication between industry and community leaders and residents by developing, testing, and refining a communications toolkit/handbook in the Eagle Ford Shale
  • Ensuring that the Environmentally Friendly Drilling Technology Integration Program expertise and information about best practices is readily available in energy-development communities and tailored to locally determined concerns
  • Developing a synthesized report on energy development regulations and ordinances across the states with oil and gas production
  • Establishing dialog and increasing levels of mutual understanding among representatives of the oil and gas industry, regulatory agency personnel, non-governmental organization representatives, and members of the general public with respect to the social, economic, and environmental effects of rapid energy development

To accomplish these objectives we conduct research to develop and test a communication toolkit using best practices and social science methods. We will work in three communities in the Eagle Ford region to assess local community desires and concerns, identify and disseminate objective information, and build linkages between community leaders and industry partners. Results of this research will be used to develop a toolkit to guide community engagement and communication activities in other communities experiencing rapid natural gas exploration and development. We will also develop a synthesized report on energy development regulations and ordinances across the states with oil and gas production. We make use of a mixed-methods framework to do this work including key informant interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

More Information

Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research