In Dallas and Ft. Worth, Texas, drilling rights to the Barnett Shale formation have paid well.
Dallas received $33.4 million to balance its 2008 budget when officials signed leases on more than 5,000 acres with XTO Energy Inc. and Trinity East Energy, officials said.
The per-acre prices ranged from $4,125 to $9,360. Only a few wells have been drilled.
Pittsburgh finance officials are scrambling to plug a $15 million hole created when Ravenstahl's plan to tax college students to boost the city's recession-battered pension funds fizzled.
The city needs money, but it cannot afford to risk environmental damage or public safety hazards that could come from gas well drilling, said Councilman Doug Shields, who wants to ban drilling in the city.
For some airports, natural gas is offering new revenue opportunities