Busted amidst the Boom: The Creation of New Insecurities and Inequalities within Pennsylvania's Shale Gas Boomtowns

Kai A. Schafft, Erin McHenry-Sorber, Daniella Hall, Ian Burfoot-Rochford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the middle of the first decade of this century new technological innovations enabled the extraction of natural gas through the use of hydraulic fracturing within gas-bearing shale and other unconventional energy reserves. As a consequence, many places, often in economically lagging rural areas, saw dramatic change as they were socially and economically transformed through rapid natural resource development. Although scholarship on so-called boomtown development has long explored social disruption associated with the sudden influx of workers and rapid economic development, this literature has tended to overlook the ways in which such development can create new poverty in the very midst of economic expansion. This article, through an examination of key informant interviews with low-income residents and human service providers within Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region, discusses the contradictory processes by which new insecurity and social exclusions may be created precisely as a consequence of economic expansion associated with rapid natural resource development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-531
Number of pages29
JournalRural Sociology
Volume83
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science

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