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Uncertainty, learning, and local opposition to hydraulic fracturing

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Listed:
  • Hess, Joshua H.
  • Manning, Dale T.
  • Iverson, Terry
  • Cutler, Harvey

Abstract

New extraction technologies, including hydraulic fracturing (fracking), have increased fossil fuel reserves in the United States. Despite local economic benefits, many jurisdictions have adopted bans on fracking. We develop a dynamic learning model parameterized with a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model to quantify the associated quasi-option value (QOV), and to explore if uncertainty about environmental damages with the potential to learn can rationalize such bans. The model is calibrated to a representative municipality in Colorado, the site of several fracking bans. With plausible damages, we find that the QOV increases the incentive to delay drilling within a range of energy prices. The results suggest that improving the ability to learn about fracking impacts could increase the prevalence of bans in the short run and lead to better policymaking over time. Incorporating CGE output into a dynamic learning framework permits calculation of the locality-wide QOV associated with a range of policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Hess, Joshua H. & Manning, Dale T. & Iverson, Terry & Cutler, Harvey, 2019. "Uncertainty, learning, and local opposition to hydraulic fracturing," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 102-123.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:resene:v:55:y:2019:i:c:p:102-123
    DOI: 10.1016/j.reseneeco.2018.11.001
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hydraulic fracturing; Quasi-Option value; Stochastic dynamic program; Computable general equilibrium model; Learning;

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • Q38 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy (includes OPEC Policy)
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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