ERIC Number: ED233863
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Community Response to an Oil Boom.
Copp, James H.
A study of the process of a 1977-1983 oil and gas boom in Caldwell, Texas, disproved the assumption that local social effects of rapid energy development are severe and negative. Using interviews, surveys, observation, local newspapers, and other writings as data sources, researchers determined that during the boom, Caldwell's population grew faster than usual but that the growth was culturally homogeneous. School populations increased 19% causing building programs. Residents of the former farm trade center entered a new set of jobs because of the boom, which directly created 1,000 new, longlasting, oil industry jobs and indirectly increased downtown employment by 40%. Most new employment went to Anglo workers although minority workers moved up in county and factory jobs. Assets in local financial institutions tripled and sales tax revenues were six times higher in 1982 than in 1977. The boom both broadened and deepened the social base of Caldwell, as landowners came into new money. However, the characteristics of the landowners combined with the area's traditional, prudent German-Czech culture to maintain the stable, moral order of the town. Volunteer organizations grew stronger, churches changed little, and crime was up only slightly. Most residents felt very positive about the boom. (SB)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Researchers; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Boomtowns; Energy Development; Impact; Impact Studies; Texas
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Rural Sociological Society (Lexington, KY, August 17-20, 1983).