States and localities need to work together to tap the potential of shale deposits, writes Rabe

December 24, 2013

In a blog post for the Brookings Institution, Barry Rabe and Christopher Borick, a professor of political science at Muhlenberg College, explain how a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision highlights the state and local governance challenges facing regions with accessible shale deposits. The Court voted to sustain a lower court decision to overturn key provisions in 2012 legislation that put fracking largely under state control. The case was brought by a series of local governments.

Rabe and Borick explain that, due to a range of statutory exemptions in existing federal law, governance on fracking is essentially delegated to states and localities. They write that, to tap the full potential of shale deposits "states and localities might find need to join common cause and devise policies that work not just for short-term acceleration or delay of drilling but rather reflect a broader consensus that can work for the long-haul"

Rabe and Borick are co-directors of the National Survey on Energy and the Environment a formal partnership between the Muhlenberg Institution of Public Opinion at Muhlenberg College and the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.