- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 2, 2014

PITTSBURGH (AP) — For the first time researchers are looking at whether money from the Marcellus Shale natural gas boom helps Pennsylvania children and families.

Research by Penn State sociology professor Molly Martin will compare northeastern Pennsylvania communities that have experienced the boom with nearby ones in New York state that haven’t.

Some families have received hundreds of thousands and even millions of dollars in drilling royalties.

New York has a moratorium on shale drilling, which uses hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to break underground rocks apart and free the gas.

Preliminary results from the study could be available in about a year. Martin says the New York-based Russell Sage Foundation provided a $150,000 grant.


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