Ithaca College hosted a forum on fracking Wednesday night. Because of the relevance to the Business Sustainability course I am teaching, the class attended the event. Panelists included:
- Anthony Ingraffea, Ph.D., the D.C. Baum Professor of Engineering, Cornell University
- John Holko, president of Lenape Resources, a gas drilling company, and secretary of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York
- Lorin Cooper, chair of the Political Action and Public Relations Committee of of the Steuben County Landowners Association, a drilling advocacy group
- Jannette Barth, Ph.D., president of J.M. Barth and Associates, an economic research and consulting firm
- Robert Howarth, Ph.D., the David R. Atkinson Professor in Ecology and Environmental Biology, Cornell University
- Helen Slottje, Esq., attorney with Community Environmental Defense Counsel, Inc.
- Barbara Lifton, New York State Assembly member, 125th District (including Ithaca)
I learned much about the procedure of fracking (i.e., hydraulic fracturing), and became even more disturbed by some of its potential consequences. Perhaps the most worrisome comment came from Barbara Lifton, who recounted a story told by Josh Fox, director of Gasland. When he visited Albany to screen the movie for state lawmakers, he said that when making the movie, he wanted to present an alternative to the cities ravished by environmental and health problems after fracking has been instituted in their communities. When he went to oil and gas industry representatives and asked for a community that had benefited from the process, they couldn’t give him one example.
The seats were actually all filled for the majority of the evening, but it was a long night. I even left early, but when I left and took the picture, most attendees had dispersed.