Shale Conference Focuses On "Boom And Bust"

By
Steffany Hiett

Dateline
Updated Tue, May 29, 2012 7:51 am

Shale gas development has been a popular subject in Southeast Ohio over the past few months.

Business and local government representatives came together last week at Ohio University to talk about the short and long term impacts of this development.
 
Zachary Holl, of the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at OU, helped run the conference.
 
He says the main concept discussed at this conference is known as the "boom and bust" development.
 
"Shale gas is an energy development and other forms of energy development in our past such as coal, or timber for example, have shown a boom and bust cycle. So there's a flurry of activity when that resource is developed , but when the resources goes away there's a bust," said Holl. "So, there's a challenge to local communities and state government to think not just about the short term, which has a mix of positive and negative impacts from this development, but also long term. Are communities prepared for when the bust happens?" 
 
While Holl says there are multiple takeaways from the conference, he says the point that stands out most is the information that can be gathered from this opportunity.
 
"We have an opportunity here to learn. There's a state just to the east of us called Pennsylvania, which has had a scale of shale gas development which dwarfs the scale of what's going on here in Ohio. Some of the speakers at our conference were from Pennsylvania to share their experience. So I would say a big takeway is we have a big opportunity here to learn and not fly blind," said Holl.
 
Holl says future conferences will depend on the amount of sponsors willing to support the cause.
 
He says the goal of those conferences will be to focus on the key priority issues in the region, something that can change 
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