May 20, 2014

Duke researchers say fracking enriches public finances through local taxes

Duke University researchers say fracking enriches the public finances through local taxes. Two Duke researchers analyzed data from 10 states with shale gas exploration and found that most came out ahead financially after fracking-based expenses were factored in.

A pair of Duke University researchers said Tuesday that fracking boosts public finances of local governments through local taxes and other fees.

Daniel Raimi and Richard Newell compiled data from 10 states that have active shale gas exploration, including Arkansas, North Dakota, Texas and Pennsylvania.

Their report concluded that most states end up ahead but some are set back financially by fracking-associated expenses, such as road repair, water service expansion and increased agency staffing.

The two Duke researchers work at the university’s Energy Initiative. They said the leading costs are road repair and maintenance, and service demands such as law enforcement, emergency services and administrative staffing.

They said negative fiscal impacts were experienced in western North Dakota and eastern Montana during fracking booms, but the economic stress faded as the drilling activity subsided.

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