Cracking Fracking: Explaining Policy Differences Across States on the Marcellus Shale Rock Unit


This study aims to determine if there is a correlation between the five state conditions I have selected and policy stringency on hydraulic fracturing within states belong to the Marcellus Shale. I will be examining the factors within these four states Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania and New York. The five factors I will examine are as follows: active environmental organizations, the absence of a natural gas tax, the absence of a property tax, good overall economic conditions, and a unified Democratic state legislature. It is my goal to determine if there is a correlation between the number of factors met and policy stringency. I expect there to be stricter policy with more conditions met in this study. I will also be attempting to determine if there is a factor being examined that is salient among all four states indicating to me that the factor may be paramount in determining hydraulic fracturing policy. Using a comparative case study I find that the more factors met correlates to more stringent restrictions on fracking and I also find no specific variable to be more salient than the others.


Van Doorn, Bas


Political Science


American Politics

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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