Fracking Benefits Local Economies

The University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute has issued the results of a study that shows the economic benefits of fracking on local economies outweigh undesirable side effects.

Related: North Dakota Faces $2 Billion Loss of Revenue

Between 2000 and 2013, researchers conducted a study of the communities near the nation’s most prominent shale formations. The results stated that the economic benefits to citizens during the boom years overshadowed the negative effects of crime, traffic, and pollution.

“This study makes it clear that on net there are benefits to local economies – which we believe is useful information for leaders in the United States and abroad who are deciding whether to allow fracking in their communities.”

— Co-author Chris Knittel, Professor at the MIT

Economic Benefits of Fracking to Local Communities

According to the study, the shale boom produced benefits valued at as much as $1,900 a year for the average household in nearby communities. Other impacts included: 

  • Income climbed 7 percent
  • 10% employment rate
  • Home prices increased by 6% (20% in ND)
  • Net benefits of around $300 a year for the typical household

Unpleasant Side Effects of Shale Boom

  • Higher crime rates
  • More traffic
  • More pollution
  • General anxiety over the environmental dangers
  • 20% increase in spending for police and public safety.