Sustainability Practice Network Panel Discussion: The Politics of Fracking

Where: CUNY Baruch College, Robert Zicklin Center for Corporate Integrity, 55 Lexington Avenue at East 24th Street, NYC

When:  September 13, 2012 6:00 – 8:00pm


Panelists: Terry Engelder, Professor Geosciences, Penn State University;  Walter Hang, President, Toxics Targeting ;  Bridget Lee, Associate Attorney, Earthjustice;  Tom Shepstone, Principal, Shepstone Management Co.; Eric Goldstein, NYC Environment Director, National Resources Defense Council

Topic:  ‘The Politics of Fracking’

The process of drilling for natural gas, commonly known as hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” continues to be a polarizing issue in communities across the country. The promise of a new source of cleaner domestic energy needs to be weighed against the potential environmental dangers fracking may hold.

Fracking has the potential to provide a domestic source of energy that pollutes less than coal and petroleum when burned. Expansion of the practice would provide jobs and income to thousands in many economically depressed areas and may lessen America’s dependence on foreign energy sources. However, fracking requires injecting sand, water and chemicals deep into the ground, presenting the potential for a number of serious environmental dangers to communities. It also requires an enormous industrial footprint and can contaminate groundwater supplies miles from the fracking site.