Date of Award

5-2015

Document Type

Capstone-Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Administration (MPA)

Program Name

Public Administration

Capstone Instructor

Dr. Christi Bartman

Abstract

Hydraulic fracturing operations, also known as fracking, have become a widely debated topic that has slowly arisen over the past decade. Fracking has provided a new method for the gas industry to extract domestic natural gas that was previously economically unattainable, therefore creating perceived benefits for the United States to bridge the energy gap while renewable sources are being further developed. It has also been assumed that it will boost waning local and state economies through gas extraction revenue. However, there are increasing concerns about the environmental safety of fracking, particularly the potential for water contamination and air pollution. The state-delegated policies that are charged with protecting the health and welfare of citizens are lacking the capability and consistency to meet that responsibility. This thesis analyzes the existing components of the Oil and Gas Act that regulate fracking in the state of Pennsylvania, and recommends policy changes that are be feasible to implement while still balancing the demands of the economy, environment, and energy production.

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