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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February 14, 2018

The U.S. nuclear power industry has found it difficult to compete in electricity markets in recent years. Major operators such as Exelon have shuttered nuclear power plants and announced plans to close others in the future. In an effort to improve their profitability, nuclear power plant operators have sought subsidies from state governments in which their plants are located. At the urging of operators, policy makers in Illinois and New York have agreed to provide billions of dollars in “zero emission credits” to nuclear power plants, ostensibly to compensate nuclear power’s lack of greenhouse gas emissions. Similar subsidies have been considered in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Zero emission credits have been widely criticized and a majority of Americans hold an unfavorable view of nuclear power.

February 12, 2018

Associate Professor Jeremy Weber, Director of GSPIA’s Shale Gas Governance Center (SGGC), recently discussed the rising price of crude oil with NPR reporter Erika Beras.  According to the report, the cost of a barrel oil increased by 30% over the past 6 months, prompting Beras to ask “Is the oil industry back?”  Dr. Weber joined Samantha Rose, an Energy Policy Analysis at the Brookings Institution and Mukul M. Sharma, Engineering Professor at the University of Texas Austin to discuss the increase in price and the implications for oil producers.  

February 06, 2018

The Shale Gas Governance Center (SGGC) is hiring a summer intern to conduct research on issues related to abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania. The internship will begin May 15 and end August 15. Pitt graduate students who have completed at least one year of study and enrolled for fall 2018 are eligible to apply.  Some familiarity with data organization and analysis is required. GIS skills are especially helpful. Good oral and written communication skills and the ability to work with limited supervision are also valued. To apply, master degree students, click here and PhD students, click here

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. 

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