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

Property Rights

Links to articles and reports that examine the issue of 'property rights' as pertaining to developing owned land for the purpose of establishing well pads and burying pipelines.

- 1004 - [August 13, 2014] - Garrett County Board of Realtors, Larry Smith - "Comments on Draft Deep Creek Lake Watershed Management Plan - Specific Comments on Gas Drilling in the Lake Watershed"
"The proposed Deep Creek Lake Watershed Management Plan includes provisions that support the drilling for natural gas, particularly through the development of the Marcellus Shale geologic formation and the issue commonly known as "fracking". The Garrett County Board of REALTORS· opposes gas drilling in the lake watershed.
Our research has discovered a number of studies that clearly demonstrate the negative effect that gas drilling has on property values, in particular those properties in close proximity to gas well pads and infrastructure. Two of the most recent studies show a negative impact to property values of between -5% and -22% for properties within 1 to 1.5 km (.9 mile) of gas development."
- 1018 - [October 29, 2013] - Council for a Secure America, Donna Bryson - "Hydraulic Fracturing Largely Driving Transformation of the Nation’s Landscape"
"Over the summer, something sprang up in the view from Dorsey Johnson’s back deck north of Denver, where she watches sunsets over Colorado’s front range. It was a noisy, towering rig, drilling a new oil well. “There was clanking. There were trucks going by,” she says. All she wanted was for the rig to go away.
The Wall Street Journal analyzed well location and census data for more than 700 counties in 11 major energy-producing states. At least 15.3 million Americans lived within a mile of a well that has been drilled since 2000. That is more people than live in Michigan or New York City.
The Wall Street Journal obtained data documenting the locations and drilling dates of more than 2.3 million wells in 11 states from DrillingInfo, a data provider to the oil industry, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.
Nearby fracking can also lower the value of homes based on a fear that it will contaminate groundwater. One study in suburban Pittsburgh that examined fracking found that, between 2004 and 2009, prices of homes near wells were 10% higher than homes further from wells—unless the home relied on well water as opposed to municipal water, in which case the sale price was 16% lower than expected."
- 1019 - [March 14, 2014] - ResourceMedia, NA - "Drilling vs. the American Dream: Fracking impacts on property rights and home values"
"There are currently more than 1.1 million active oil and gas wells in the United States, and more than 15 million Americans now live within a mile of the hundreds of thousands that have been drilled since 2000, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal. Made possible by the advent of fracking, drilling is taking place in shale formations from California to New York and from Wyoming to Texas....
Drilling rigs now regularly inch up and even into communities that never anticipated having to address problems like round-the-clock noise, storage tanks, drums of toxic chemicals, noxious fumes, near-constant truck traffic and pipelines near homes, schools, playgrounds and parks. For many, the impacts of this kind of large-scale industrial activity are incompatible with quality of life."
- 1073 - [April 2, 2014] - ClimateHoward, ClimateHoward - "garrett realtors worried about fracking"
"The Garrett County Board of Realtors has waded into the fracking frenzy, pressing for sufficient local protections to be in place before drilling starts in Western Maryland.
The group, which represents individual Realtors as well as nine realty companies in the state’s most exposed county if fracking were permitted, says it is concerned about declining property values near fracking wells and gas infrastructure.
This letter marks the first time a local business organization has said that local government needs to play a stronger role. The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce and the Farm Bureau, in contrast, have lobbied repeatedly in support of fracking for gas."
- 1119 - [September 2012] - The National Bureau of Economic Research, Lucija Muehlenbachs, Elisheba Spiller, Christopher Timmins - "Shale Gas Development and Property Values: Differences across Drinking Water Sources"
"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 triple-difference estimator and exploit the public water service area boundary in Washington County, Pennsylvania to identify the housing capitalization of groundwater risk, differentiating it from other externalities, lease payments to homeowners, and local economic development. We find that proximity to wells increases housing values, though risks to groundwater fully offset those gains. By itself, groundwater risk reduces property values by up to 24 percent."
- 1120 - [January 2014] - The National Bureau of Economic Research, Lucija Muehlenbachs, Elisheba Spiller, Christopher Timmins - "The Housing Market Impacts of Shale Gas Development"
"Using data from Pennsylvania and New York and an array of empirical techniques to control for confounding factors, we recover hedonic estimates of property value impacts from shale gas development that vary with geographic scale, water source, well productivity, and visibility. Results indicate large negative impacts on nearby groundwater-dependent homes, while piped-water-dependent homes exhibit smaller positive impacts, suggesting benefits from lease payments. At a broader geographic scale, we find that new well-bores increase property values, but these effects diminish over time. Undrilled permits cause property values to decrease. Results have implications for the debate over regulation of shale gas development."
- 1121 - [May 31, 2012] - NA, Lucija Muehlenbachs, Elisheba SMuehlenbachspiller, Christopher Timmins - "The Drill and the Bill - Shale Gas Development and Property Values"
"Although shale gas development has been a recent economic boon to various areas across the United States, there are inherent risks in the process that could be capitalized into the prices of nearby homes. We conduct a hedonic study of the impact on property values by permitting and drilling of shale gas wells both on and near the property."
- 1122 - [August 2014] - Institute for the Study of Labor, Thomas DeLeire, Paul Eliason and Christopher Timmins - "Measuring the Employment Impacts of Shale Gas Development"
"In recent years technological innovations in drilling and shale stimulation have produced a boom in the natural gas extraction industry across the portion of Pennsylvania that is situated on the Marcellus Shale. The development of this resource provides a relevant setting in which to study the effects of a natural resource boom on local labor markets. By employing a distributed lag model to estimate the impact of shale development on the labor market, we are able to identify and compare the short-run and long-run effects on employment and earnings. "
- 1123 - [December 1. 2012] - Social Science Research Network, Clifford A. Lipscomb, Yongsheng Wang and Sarah J. Kilpatrick - "Unconventional Shale Gas Development and Real Estate Valuation Issues"
"This article provides an overview of the real estate valuation issues related to unconventional shale gas activities, particularly those related to hydraulic fracturing or “fracking.” With the research on this topic in its infancy, we focus more on the valuation issues that can arise as opposed to those that have arisen. Central to this discussion are the factors associated with fracking activities that could alter the existing risk context of real estate valuation in communities and the role that information plays in developing risk perceptions. As current examples of these issues, we discuss some specific legal and regulatory changes that have arisen in Pennsylvania."
- 1124 - [April 2014] - Duke University, Paul Eliason - "Measuring the Employment Impacts of Shale Gas Development"
"In recent years technological innovations in drilling and shale stimulation have produced a boom in the natural gas extraction industry across the portion of Pennsylvania that is situated on the Marcellus Shale. The development of this resource provides a relevant setting in which to study the effects of a natural resource boom on local labor markets. By employing a distributed lag model to estimate the impact of shale development on the labor market, we are able to identify and compare the short-run and long-run effects on employment and earnings.
We also demonstrate how replacing the distributed lag model with a standard assumption that all shale development has an equal impact on employment regardless of timing can produce misleading results."
- 1125 - [May 2014] - Colby College Economics Department, Brendan Cosgrove, Daniel LaFave, Sahan Dissanayake and Michael Donihue - "The Economic Impact of Shale Gas Development - A Natural Experiment along the New York and Pennsylvania Border"
"In the United States, the rapid increase in shale gas production has recently stimulated local economies. This paper investigates the regional economic impact of shale gas development. The border of New York and Pennsylvania provides a natural experiment for its economic impact because of the moratorium on fracking in NY and the supportive fracking regulations in PA. Using BLS data from 2001-2013, results show that shale gas development has a statistically significant impact at the industry level, but not across the entire economy. The findings contribute new evidence to the economic benefits and the boom-bust cycle of shale gas extraction."
- 1126 - [April 28, 2013] - Urban Economics, Zheng Lu - "Possible Effects of Hydraulic Fracturing and Shale Gas Development in Durham County"
"Presently, hydraulic fracturing is not approved in North Carolina. However, on February 27, 2013, the North Carolina Senate approved a bill which would allow the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission to start issuing permits for fracking by March 2015. The bill is currently being debated in the North Carolina House (Drye). In order to study the effects of hydraulic fracturing, a comparison can be made to other areas that have recently permitted fracking. Washington County, Pennsylvania provides a good source for comparison. Shale gas wells have recently been drilled in that area."
- 1127 - [2014] - DSpace@MIT, Hess, Sara Lynn - "Extracting the economic benefits of natural resources in the Marcellus Shale Region"
"My thesis seeks to explore the challenge of value capture from natural resources using the case of the Marcellus Shale in West Virginia and Pennsylvania as an exemplar. I examine the mechanisms in place to capture the economic benefits of shale gas extraction in these two states, performing a rough cost benefit analysis that attempts to quantify the economic impact of a single natural gas well drilled in each state. The thesis has two objectives: first, to determine whether or not drilling in the Marcellus Shale produces benefits that are captured and distributed in a way that accounts for the costs of natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Second, I hope to provide a cost benefit analysis framework that any locality considering allowing the shale gas industry to operate within its boundaries could utilize to recognize gaps in the distribution of costs and benefits early on, prior to the start of drilling. In addition to performing a cost benefit analysis under normal operations, I also estimate the costs associated with a groundwater contamination rate of 1.2% of drilled shale gas wells in 2012 in both states. This analysis reveals that the costs of groundwater contamination exceed the level of funding allocated to address these potential costs by more than $1 billion in some scenarios. In response to this lack of cost coverage, I suggest several policy solutions aimed at increasing the level of financial assurances states have in place to address the potential negative externalities resulting from the shale gas industry. By limiting the potential negative economic impact of the shale gas industry, these policy suggestions also support stronger value capture."
- 1128 - [May 2014] - Dissertation - Graduate School of Vanderbilt University, Caroline Cecot - "SHALE DEVELOPMENT: RISKS, RESPONSES, AND REGULATION"
"In this dissertation, I examine responses to perceived risks of shale development as revealed through property transactions and through the political process. I find evidence that individuals differentiate between nearby vertical wells, which are not likely to be shale wells, and nearby horizontal wells, which are likely to employ high-volume fracking. "
- 1243 - [October 4, 2010] -, Barbara Burdick - "Leasing info question"
"My name is Barbara (Jensen) Burdick and my parents retained mineral rights on 107 acres near Accident MD. They had a live well in the 50's and later moved. We have been somewhat following the Marcellus Shale leasing interest for the last couple years but have a hard time getting detailed information since we have few contacts still in that area.
Maryland now has the Dormant Minerals Act and anyone who owns minerals NEEDS to get an INTENT TO PRESERVE MINERALS recorded in the court house.
OR, you will have the surface owners coming after what you own for free. It is their right to do so if there has been no activity for 40 years. I will be posting this on the main GMS site as well."
- 1266 - [August 6, 2014] -, Tom Shepstone | Natural Gas NOW - "Shale Gas Area Home Values Grow: Tourist Area Values Fall"
"A regular reader of, an individual who is keen on monitoring economic trends, passed along an interesting chart to me yesterday morning. It’s from an extremely informative website called (check it out) and depicts a disturbing trend in our own area of Wayne County, Pennsylvania, which is one of three well-known Pocono counties where tourism has long been an economic mainstay. Home values are in free fall."
- 1271 - [NA] - Swarthmore College, Environmental Studies Capstone - "Property and Leasing"
"In the state of Pennsylvania, property is divided into two distinct entities: mineral and surface. Owning the surface or real estate does not necessarily mean that one also owns the subsurface or mineral resources that may lie below that property. Often real estate owners may be unaware of whether or not they own the mineral rights under their land. It may be necessary to trace the property deeds as far back as the 1860s to check if surface and mineral estates were split...."
- 1479 - [May 1, 2012] - Nation of Change, Henry Henderson - "Fracking vs. Democracy: State Laws Subvert Home Rule and Property Rights"
"One of the most fascinating and disturbing issues that comes up again and again around fracking is the multitude of exemptions and entitlements that have been handed to the industry at the expense of citizens. Exemptions from the federal drinking water law. Exemptions from citizen challenges. Exemptions from local land use standards and licenses that have protected private property and neighborhoods.
These are all troubling. But one of the most alarming is the fact that overzealous protections for the limited economic interests of oil and gas companies are prioritized over the broad property rights that Americans have enjoyed for most of the nation’s history (based in part on ideas of law, property and the public interest going back to the Magna Carta)"
- 1592 - [NA] - vimeo, Stephen Cleghorn - "Stephen Cleghorn - Jefferson County, Pennsylvania"
"Stephen Cleghorn decribing his plight as an organic farmer."
- 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.""
- 1960 - [June 10, 2015] - RH Reality Check, Brie Shea, Investigative Reporting Fellow, RH Reality Check - "Local Control? Texas Fracking Billionaires Say 'Not So Fast'"
"Last month, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill that would, at first blush, seem at odds with the state’s ethos of local control and individual rights.
Commonly referred to as the “Denton Fracking Ban,” the law should actually be called the Fracking-Ban Ban.
That’s because it forbids cities and towns from banning hydraulic fracturing, a technique used to extract methane gas from shale and other below-ground mineral deposits."
- 1961 - [January 1, 2015] - Preserve the Beartooth Front, David Katz - "You’ve probably never heard of the Wilks brothers. They’re about to take away your property rights."
"It should come as no surprise that there was big oil money behind the new Texas law that stops local government from regulating oil and gas. What might shock you is that the same money is about to be used for the same purpose in Montana."
- 1964 - [June 4, 2015] - Maryland Attorney General, David Paulson - "Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler Warns Landowners: Before Signing a Mineral Rights Lease, Check Your Mortgage"
"Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler is warning landowners that signing a mineral rights lease could conflict with some requirements of their federally-approved home or farm mortgage. To ensure their homes and farms remain safe from legal entanglements, landowners should always check with their bank or mortgage lender before entering into a mineral rights lease."