As the natural gas boom continues in Pennsylvania, a new website aims to take the multiple economic impact review analyses and reduce the confusion and bias among them. Creator of the website, Matthew Rousu, said economic impact reports vary widely in quality depending upon who commissioned them.
“If it’s a Marcellus Shale gas drilling company, what they would like to say is, ‘look at the drilling for shale gas has a huge impact on the economy,’ on the flip side, if it was somebody who’s opposed to drilling, they might also try to do one and come up with as low a figure as possible,” he said.
The site outlines some best practices for effective economic impact studies, it also posts the economic impact studies themselves, accompanied by a review on each one. Using the best practices, it outlines what the study did well and did not do well then offers an overall view of the study.
“Our attempt is to be objective, to be objective scholars who are looking at all research that’s coming in,” he said, “on Marcellus Shale there’s really a lack of objective research that’s being done on this issue.”
The website continues to expand, currently posting between one and two new studies a week. Rousu said eventually it will also include analysis of economic impact studies of national and state parks and recreation areas.