Garrett County and Natural Gas - Risks and Benefits

A selection of categorized links to allow one to assess the risks and benefits of gas development in Garrett Conty.

Garrett County Montage


Links to articles describing the impact of gas development on the availability of housing for the new work force.

- 1061 - [January 18, 2015] - Piitsburgh Post Gazette, Daniel Moore - "Complicated by drilling boom, a chronic housing shortage in Greene County gets new attention"
" It began in 2005 as an ad hoc collection of trailer hookups tucked away in a backyard in Jefferson Township. Now an RV campground, it flourishes by luring prospective campers with all the amenities: shower facilities, coin-operated laundry, a community room and flexible rates for daily, weekly, monthly and long-term stays.
But the campground, which has an entry on the state’s official tourism website, doesn’t cater to vacationers but instead serves a transient wave of natural gas drillers, pipeliners and other short-term natural gas workers drawn by the gas boom in the Marcellus Shale.
And as the campground has provided a home — for however long — for weary workers, it has filled the coffers of an unlikely owner: the Jefferson Township Volunteer Fire Department.
Greene and Washington counties are “two totally different housing markets and economic base,” Mr. Maretzki said. “Greene is feeling the impact much more acutely, and, in Washington, it is much more diffuse.”
It’s been rough on low-income tenants, who have increasingly faced evictions... What’s more, some landlords are now hesitant to take in low-income tenants... It can lead to complex and sometimes hostile negotiations between the county and landlords."
- 1118 - [July 2012] - resource for the Future, Lucija Muehlenbachs, Elisheba Spiller and Christopher Timmins - "Shale Gas Development and the Costs of Groundwater Contamination Risk"
"While shale gas development can result in rapid local economic development, negative externalities associated with the process may adversely affect the prices of nearby homes. We utilize a difference-in-differences estimator with additional controls for house fixed effects and the boundary of the public water service area in Washington County, Pennsylvania to identify the capitalization of groundwater contamination risk in property values, differentiating it from other externalities, lease payments to homeowners, and local economic development. We find that proximity to wells increases property values. However, groundwater contamination concerns fully offset those gains by reducing property values up to 26 percent."
- 1230 - [February 2010] - The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - WORKING PAPER SERIES, Patrick Bajari, Jane Cooley, Kyoo il Kim and Christopher Timmins - "A Theory-Based Approach to Hedonic Price Regressions with Time-Varying Unobserved Product Attributes: The Price of Pollution"
"We propose a new strategy for a pervasive problem in the hedonic literature--recovering hedonic prices in the presence of time-varying correlated unobservables. Our approach relies on an assumption about homebuyer rationality, under which prior sales prices can be used to control for time-varying unobservable attributes of the house or neighborhood. Using housing transactions data from California's Bay Area between 1990 and 2006, we apply our estimator to recover marginal willingness to pay for reductions in three of the EPA's "criteria" air pollutants. Our findings suggest that ignoring bias from time-varying correlated unobservables considerably understates the benefits of a pollution reduction policy."
- 1231 - [November 2011] - The National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) - WORKING PAPER SERIES, Kelly C. Bishop, Christopher Timmins - "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Estimating Marginal Willingness to Pay for Differentiated Products Without Instrumental Variables"
"The hedonic model of Rosen (1974) has become a workhorse for valuing the characteristics of differentiated products despite a number of well-documented econometric problems. For example, Bartik (1987) and Epple (1987) each describe a source of endogeneity in the second stage of Rosen's procedure that has proven difficult to overcome. In this paper, we propose a new approach for recovering the marginal willingness-to-pay function that altogether avoids these endogeneity problems. Applying this estimator to data on large changes in violent crime rates, we find that marginal willingness-to-pay increases by ten cents with each additional violent crime per 100,000 residents."
- 1417 - [March 3, 2015] - GANTDaily, Gant Team - "Study Examines Housing and Marcellus Shale Development"
"The Center for Rural Pennsylvania commissioned a Marcellus Shale Impacts study, the fifth looking at impacts on housing.
Marcellus Shale development brings gas company workers, subcontractors and workers in related areas to the locations in which natural gas exploration and drilling occur. An immediate issue is where to house these workers.
The fifth impacts study examines housing. This includes looking at housing stock (numbers and age of housing units), rental and vacancy rates, housing costs and housing affordability in the four study counties of Bradford, Greene, Lycoming and Washington."
- 1555 - [February 18, 2014] - Center for Rural Pennsylvania, Center for Rural Pennsylvania - "Housing and Marcellus Shale Development - The Marcellus Impacts Project Report #5"
"Marcellus Shale development brings gas company workers, subcontractors and workers in related areas (e.g., pipeline or other construction) to the locations in which natural gas exploration and drilling occur. An immediate issue is where to house these workers. In areas with high housing vacancy rates or available temporary housing (hote ls and motels), the influx of workers can be accommodated more easily. In smaller population areas or where housing is already fully used and few alternatives exist, the influx of workers may create more pressures on the housing market. As growth in demand outpaces supply , rents and housing prices rise . T he people most likely to be displaced are lower income individuals and families who cannot pay th e higher housing costs that gas related workers are able to pay."
- 1659 - [April 2015] - No Fracking Way, Chip Northrup - "Location Location Location: Fracked Houses & Mortgages"
"Lenders are telling frackers to take a hike. Because fracking has a really nasty way of cratering the value of housing. And water wells. And just about every other surface use. Which the mortgage lenders have finally figured out. So they are starting to redline mortgages near fracking."
- 1660 - [August 16, 2013] - Nerd Wallet, Alice Holbrook - "How Will Fracking Affect Your Homeowners Insurance?"
"...Those who lease their land for drilling can see huge profits, but some reports suggest that these profits come with risk for both lessors and their neighbors – and who pays for these risks can be a complicated question."
- 1661 - [October 7, 2014] -, Ed Leefeldt - "Homeowner:How do mineral rights and fracking affect you?"
"If you own property in a place where oil and gas might lie below, you could soon find a "landman" at your door with a lease.
Read it carefully.
A landman represents an energy company that wants to drill as deep as a mile underground, although there'll be plenty of equipment above ground, too. And while the lease may not mention "hydraulic fracturing," it's likely to refer to "methods and techniques … not restricted to current technology.""
- 1681 - [April 16, 2015] -, Zach Koppang | Shale Plays Media - "Minot rent prices collapse"
"Rumors continue to abound in the Bakken about how the boom is over and the bust is here. Despite various pipeline projects in the works and approximately 900 wells awaiting completion, economic indicators such as rent prices are suggesting that although the Bakken might not be busted, the economic landscape of the region is beginning to return to normalcy, much to the chagrin of property owners and rental agencies."
- 1706 - [August 31, 2014] -, Robert Swift, | The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. - "Bipartisan push for housing fund"
"Momentum is building to expand the reach of a state program that finances housing projects in the Marcellus Shale drilling region to cover the entire state.
That became evident when the House and Senate committees overseeing urban issues unanimously approved companion bills last week to provide a new revenue source for the state Housing Trust Fund through an earmark of the state realty transfer tax.
Pennsylvania established the trust fund in 2010 to provide affordable housing to low-income individuals, help the elderly stay in their homes and fight neighborhood blight. However, the fund has lacked the funding to fully meet those goals."
- 1808 - [NA] - Mortgage Finance Gazette, Joanne Atkin - "Fracking will hit house values, warn estate agents"
"Estate agents in areas targeted by fracking companies are reporting concerns from prospective buyers over looming shale developments, with some sales already falling through as a result.
According to a survey of 60 estate agents operating close to potential fracking sites in West Sussex, Manchester, and Lancashire, the controversial technique is likely to wipe tens of thousands of pounds off the values of nearby properties and make homes harder to sell."