The Issues

Understanding the Context

Extractive industries and northern Pennsylvania are uniquely intertwined.  The harvesting of natural resources–oil, timber and coal–have had a tremendous influence in this region. These industries have shaped the landscape and, inevitably, the culture and history of the places where they operated. Therefore, when attempting to understand the potential influence of a new extractive industry, such as the natural gas industry in the Marcellus Shale region, it is important to also understand the context in which it exists. This requires an understanding and appreciation of the culture of the places where extraction is taking place, and an understanding of the impacts of similar industries in the past.

Culture and Place

The Marcellus Shale underlies a large portion of the northeastern United States. This area has many unique places, each with a special history. This historical timeline focuses on the northern portion of Pennsylvania, where the culture and place have had a close connection to extractive industries in the past.

Extractive Industries

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has many valuable natural resources, and for this reason it has been the hub of extractive industries in the northeastern United States. This timeline looks at the booms, busts and sustained exploitation of the extractive industries that have had a significant role in the Commonwealth.