Highlights from a workshop on the environmental and social implications of fracking.
A group of the nation's leading experts on energy and the environment are at Duke this week attending aworkshop to try to ferret out the facts (and tamp down the hype) around shale gas and fracking, the controversial method for extracting natural gas trapped in shale deposits. With yesterday's sessions held as a public forum and today's held in private, the two-day workshop aims to find agreement on next steps to better understand the impacts and how they might best be mitigated.
For a topic that has elicited much emotion and passion from environmentalists and energy industry representatives alike, yesterday's session was remarkably tame, even by scientific workshop standards. Speakers dispassionately presented their data and interpretation of same, and any disagreements were aired in the most collegial of terms. Anticlimactic, I imagine for those who were hoping for drama, but as one who was hoping to get a better sense of the state of the science, I found it to be quite informative.
Video will be available online Wednesday. In the meantime, here are a few highlights.