Graduate Center for Social and Public Policy
McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts
Housing, Marcellus, Mobility, Social Disruption
Since 2008, hydraulic fracturing of natural gas, or "fracking," has brought economic and environmental changes to localities in the Marcellus Shale region in Pennsylvania. In some rural counties, the sudden influx of activity associated with gas extraction created boomtowns, whereas urban areas saw an economic revival after years of stagnation that followed the collapse of the steel industry. To what degree does in-migration from the natural gas industry account for changes observed in daily living in these areas? Dimensions of social disruption have implications for population mobility, however the nature of mobility, community, and place attachment provide explanations why people may stay in place. This research examines social disruption from in-migration into the Marcellus region and its attendant effects on housing security as a primary motive for mobility. Using a mixed-methods approach, geomobility and migration data from public records a weak association between movers and housing availability. Observations from key informants contextualize the empirical results by showing regional differences in perceptions about the social effects of the natural gas industry in their area. Problems associated with housing security are associated more with the availability of water and sewage infrastructure than with changes occurring with natural gas development. Recommendations for public policy will advise and prepare communities to adapt to current and future conditions inherent in the energy production industry.
Mackay, A. (2015). Housing-Related Migration in the Marcellus Shale Region of Pennsylvania (Master's thesis, Duquesne University). Retrieved from https://dsc.duq.edu/etd/849