Negotiating the Marcellus: The Role of Information in Building Trust in Extractive Deals


  • Jodi Liss

Jodi Liss has worked as a consultant for the World Bank and United Nations Development Programme. Her writings on extractive issues have appeared in World Politics Review, the Foreign Policy Association blog, World Policy Journal blog, and The Punch. Her e-mail address is


New technology has expanded the opportunities for energy companies within the United States, often bringing them into populated communities and requiring them to negotiate deals with landowners. This case study focuses on how one group of landowners in northeastern Pennsylvania creatively reimagined the process of negotiating in a natural gas deal. They used collective bargaining for leverage, and the Internet and social media to level the informational playing field. These techniques allowed them to develop trust within the group and ultimately with one company, as they sought to protect their environment and enhance their financial gain.