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Friday, July 11, 2014

Project Helping Communities Plan to Avoid Bust After Shale Boom

From Ohio State University:
Boom, then bust. It’s a scenario often played out in local economies heavily reliant on one type of industry, especially in the energy sector. And it’s an underlying concern for Ohio communities currently experiencing a boom in shale oil and gas development. 
But the cycle isn’t inescapable, say community development specialists with Ohio State University Extension. They have received funding to help eastern Ohio communities examine how shale development, also known as fracking, is affecting their economies, environmental conditions and social structures and to create plans for long-term viability. 
With $200,000 in funding for a three-year project from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, OSU Extension has joined forces with four regional EDA districts representing 25 eastern Ohio counties. 
“We are trying to help the communities in the region position themselves for sustainable economic development that leverages the shale play and prevents the bust that inevitably would happen,” said Nancy Bowen-Ellzey, an OSU Extension field specialist in community economics and one of the project’s principal investigators.
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