Skip to main content
Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

The Influence of the Pace and Scale of Energy Development on Communities: Lessons from the Natural Gas Drilling Boom in the Rocky Mountains

By Michelle A. Haefele and Pete Morton

Abstract

Both the number of oil and gas wells drilled annually2 (U.S. Department of Interior [U.S.D.I.], Bureau of Land Management 2009) and the number of producing natural gas wells3 (U.S. Department of Energy 2009) in the Rocky Mountain region4 more than doubled from 1998 to 2008. The proportion of U.S. natural gas production from the region increased from 16% in 1997 to 23% in 2007 (U. S. Department of Energy 2009) and the number of drilling rigs operating in the region grew from 131 in 2002 to 318 in 2009.5 This increase in natural gas drilling in the region has created boomtown conditions in several rural communities. While energy development can benefit rural communities, boomtowns in the Rockies experienced an influx of non-local workers, a rise in crime and emergency service calls, increased demand for public services, more wear and tear on local infrastructure, and upward pressure on local wages and housing costs. Natural gas prices had dropped dramatically by 2009, the drilling boom had subsided, and the bust phase may have begun (Figure 1). The recent energy boom-bust begs the question—how can communities learn from recent history to better take advantage of future energy development for both short-term and long-term benefits?Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,

OAI identifier:
Downloaded from http://purl.umn.edu/92810

Suggested articles

Citations

  1. (1994). A New Look at Old Vistas: the Economic Role of Environmental Quality in Western Public Lands.
  2. (1992). Addictive Economies: Extractive Industries and Vulnerable Localities in a Changing World Economy.
  3. (1999). Amenities Increasingly Draw People to the Rural West. Rural Development Perspectives
  4. (1989). Amenities, Migration, and Nonmetropolitan Regional Development. Report to National Science Foundation. Moscow ID:
  5. (2007). Are High Wage Jobs Hazardous to Your Health? The Myth That Attracting Higher Paying Extractive Industry Jobs is a Desirable Community Economic Development Strategy.
  6. (1986). Boom and Bust in Energy Extraction.
  7. (1989). Boomtown Blues: Colorado Oil Shale 1885-1985.
  8. (1995). Bowling Alone: America‘s Declining Social Capital.
  9. City of Rifle: A Case Study of Community Renewal, Growth and Change in Northwest Colorado. Prepared for the City of Rifle.
  10. (1989). Community stability: The foresters' fig leaf.
  11. (2009). Contemporary Western Rural USA Economic Composition: Potential Implications for Environmental Policy and Research.
  12. (2009). Department of Energy, Energy Information Administration.
  13. (2009). Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management.
  14. (2004). Does Wilderness Impoverish Rural Regions?
  15. (2004). Drilling in the Rocky Mountains: How much and at what cost?
  16. (1995). Economic Well-Being and Environmental Protection in the Pacific Northwest: A Consensus Report by Pacific Northwest Economists. Missoula MT:
  17. (2004). Employment Adequacy in Extractive Industries: An Analysis of Underemployment,
  18. (1991). Employment Risk, Diversification and Unemployment.
  19. (2003). Environmental Protection, Population Change, and Economic Development in the Rural Western United States. Population and Environment
  20. (2009). for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control.
  21. (2008). Fossil Fuel Extraction as a County Economic Development Strategy.
  22. (2001). Growth, Decline, Stability, and Disruption: A Longitudinal Analysis of Social Well-being in Four Western Rural Communities.
  23. (2009). Headwaters Economics.
  24. (1984). Impact Mitigation in Western Energy Boomtowns.
  25. (2005). Index Crimes, Arrests, and Incidents in Sublette County 1995-2004: Trends and Forecasts. Report prepared for the Socioeconomic Analyst Advisory Committee, Sublette County, Wyoming (available at: http://www.pinedaleonline.com/socioeconomic/ accessed
  26. (1996). Lost Landscapes and Failed Economies.
  27. (1989). Migration, Economic Growth, and the Quality of Life.
  28. (2005). Natural Amenities and Rural Development: Understanding Spatial and Distributional Attributes.
  29. (2005). Natural Resource-Based Communities, Risk, and Disaster: An Intersection of Theories.
  30. (1994). Natural Resources and Rural Poverty: A Closer Look.
  31. Northwest Colorado Socioeconomic Analysis and Forecasts. Prepared for Associated Governments of Northwest Colorado.
  32. (1999). Oil and Gas Extraction, Inputs: Occupational Safety and Health Risks (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/programs/oilgas/risks.html )
  33. (1987). Overthrust Dreams. In: Owning It All by
  34. (2005). Pinedale Anticline Working Group.
  35. (2000). Population Growth, Economic Security and Cultural Change in Wilderness Counties.
  36. (2004). Regional Asset Indicators: Entrepreneurship Breadth and Depth. The Main Street Economist,
  37. (2000). Regional Economic Diversity: Action, Concept, or State of Confusion.
  38. (1997). Resource Extraction and Fluctuations in Poverty: A Case Study.
  39. (1980). Rocky Mountain High. Time,
  40. (2007). Sublette County Socioeconomic Impact Study. Draft Report. Prepared for Sublette County Commissioners.
  41. (2008). Sublette County, Wyoming: A Socio-Economic Profile. Bridger-Teton Region, County Profile Series.
  42. (2004). Sustainability in Forestry: Origins, Evolution and Prospects. Discussion Paper 6-04, Washington DC: Pinchot Institute for Conservation. 43 pp. Western Economics Forum,
  43. (1980). The Boom Town: Problems and Promises in the Energy Vortex. Laramie WY:
  44. (2005). The Boom-Bust-Recovery Cycle: Dynamics of Change
  45. (1998). The Effect of Federal Wilderness on County Growth in the Intermountain Western United States.
  46. (1993). The Influence of Economic Diversity on Unemployment and Stability.
  47. (2001). The Role of Amenities and
  48. (1993). The Role of Amenities in Business Attraction and Retention. Montana Policy Review 3(2):11-19.
  49. (1995). The Role of Economic and Quality of Life Values in Rural Business Location.
  50. (2001). The Rural Economy in a New Century.
  51. (1995). Travel-Stimulated Entrepreneurial Migration.

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.