Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/147856
Authors: 
Johnsen, Reid
LaRiviere, Jacob
Wolff, Hendrik
Year of Publication: 
2016
Series/Report no.: 
IZA Discussion Papers 10170
Abstract: 
This paper estimates indirect benefits of improved air quality induced by hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking". The recent increase in natural gas supply led to displacement of coal-fired electricity by cleaner natural gas-fired generation. Using detailed spatial panel data comprising the near universe of US power plants, we find that coal generation decreased by 28%. Further, fracking decreased local air pollution by an average of 4%. We show that benefits vary geographically; air pollution levels decreased by 35% in the most affected region. Back of the envelope calculations imply accumulated health benefits of roughly $17 billion annually.
Subjects: 
fracking
coal-fired power plants
air pollution
health
electricity
JEL: 
Q41
Q53
I18
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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