Perceived Impacts from Wind Farm and Natural Gas Development in Northern Pennsylvania


  • We wish to acknowledge the Human Dimensions Research Unit at Cornell University, Penn State Cooperative Extension, and the planning staff at Tioga and Bradford Counties, Pennsylvania, for their assistance in the execution of this survey effort. We thank additionally the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future at Cornell University and the New York State Ag Experiment Station, both of which provided funding for portions of this research.


This study examines the environmental, social, and economic impacts that landowners perceive from the simultaneous development of an industrial-scale wind farm and extensive natural gas drilling in an area of northern Pennsylvania. A mail survey (N = 1,028) reveals that the types of perceived impact from wind and natural gas are similar overall, although the perceived magnitude of positive and negative impacts is greater from natural gas drilling. Impact perception was found to explain a large portion of residents' overall attitudes toward the energy developments, and residents' place meanings for the area also explain some attitudinal variation. Additionally, factors such as place attachment and length and type of residency were found to have little or no effect on either the perception of impact or resident attitudes toward development.