The mission of the Shale Gas Governance Center is to promote research, teaching and outreach on the governance issues posed in Pennsylvania, the United States and around the world by the emergence of the “shale gas revolution.”

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Recent News
January 19, 2018

Energy Policy, a leading academic journal, recently published an article by GSPIA associate professor Jeremy Weber and PhD student Max Harleman. The piece, which explores how natural resource ownership affects local financial gains, presents a typology for understanding different ownership regimes (private-absentee, public-absentee, private-local, and public-local). The article was largely informed by Harleman's fieldwork in the UK, where he spent several weeks during summer 2016 UK talking to key stakeholders about that the policies and politics of shale gas development there. 

January 09, 2018

The Shale Gas Governance Center will host guest speaker Daniel Raimi at Noon, Wed., Feb. 28 in Wesley Posvar Hall, room 3911. During his talk, Mr. Raimi will discuss his recently released book, The Fracking DebateMr. Raimi is a senior research associate for Resources for the Future. From 2013 to 2016, Mr. Raimi traveled to every major oil and gas producing region of the United States to investigate the local impacts of increased domestic production. Along the way, he met hundreds of people and gathered dozens of stories from the oilfield. 

January 09, 2018

Recognizing the potential public and environmental danger of improperly plugged and unplugged oil and gas wells, Pennsylvania established the Orphan Well Plugging Fund in 1992 to support the plugging of wells for which there is no operator that can be held financially responsible. Supported by fees on new oil and gas well permits, the Fund allows the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to plug roughly 25 to 50 orphan wells annually, less than one percent of the nearly 6,400 orphan wells currently in Pennsylvania.

December 19, 2017

The Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and the Pitt Sustainability Task Force has awarded a grant to GSPIA Associate Professor Jeremy Weber to study the costs associated with abandoned oil and gas wells. In this pilot study, Weber, and Assistant Professor Daniel Bain, Pitt’s Department of Geology and environmental Science, will examine the long-term effects of conventional oil and gas wells on property values and real estate development in Washington County, Pennsylvania.  

November 28, 2017

First-year PhD students, Max Harleman (Pennsylvania) and Insik Bang (South Korea), decided to attend GSPIA based on a common interest to study energy and environmental issues. The Energy and Environment program at GSPIA provides a pathway for students to conduct rigorous research on salient environmental and energy policy challenges. 

Featured Publication

Katie Jo Black, Shawn J. McCoy & Jeremy G. Weber

To pay for environmental and public infrastructure costs associated with shale gas wells, Pennsylvania introduced a per-well Impact Fee despite concerns that it would discourage industry investment. Using a quasi-experimental design and data that nearly cover the universe of leases and wells in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, we find that leasing by energy firms declined dramatically after the Fee’s enactment, but little to no declines in well permitting or drilling occurred in the most geologically similar subsample.  


Shale Gas Governance Center
3420 Wesley W. Posvar Hall, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260