This week HWS will host to two events concerning the local and global scale of hydrofracking. Presented by the Finger lakes Institute, each event will demonstrate a unique voice to the topic of hydrofracking and help educate the community of its effects.
The first event, “Local Impacts of Fracking and the Cost of Doing Nothing,” features David and Helen Slottje, the founders of the Community Environmental Defencse Council, Inc., will take place on Tuesday, April 24, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in Albright Auditorium.
The public forum will discuss how to use the local government land-use authority to protect public health, safety, and community assets in the face of high-impact land uses such as gas drilling.
With the assistance of Community Environmental Defence Council, more than 80 cities, towns and villages across upstate New York have enacted, or are in the process of enacting, protective laws to either safeguard their community from anticipated impacts of industrial-scale gas drilling, or to give their community “breathing room” to evaluate whether allowing such impacts would be in the best interests of the community.
The Slottjes will present an hour-long slideshow describing the protective laws. They will also explain why they believe it is critically important that municipalities enact such laws prior to the time that the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation begins issuing hydrofracking drilling permits under its soon-to-be released Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement. Following the presentation, the Slottjes will be available to take questions.
The second event, “The Global Stakes of the Onshore Drilling Bonanza,” featuring Tom Wilber, will take place on Wednesday, April 25, at 7 p.m. in the Sanford Room of the Warren Hunting Smith Library. Wilbur will discuss his new book, “Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale.”
Wilber has been a reporter in the newspaper business for more than 20 years, including 17 years with the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin, covering business, health, and environment beats. He has reported on shale gas development in New York and Pennsylvania since 2008; and he was among the first reporters to provide daily coverage of events in Dimock, Pa., and has won top honors in Best of Gannett beat reporting in 2010 for his coverage.
Wilber’s talk will include an overview of what is known about the geology of the Marcellus and Utica shale formations extending under the northeast, the contrasting mineral extraction cultures and histories in New York State and Pennsylvania that have shaped events in those states, and analysis of the anti-fracking movement’s influence on current and developing national policy. These topics are presented in the context of an election-year dilemma involving the balance of energy and economic policy in an age of global environmental degradation.
Wilber holds a BA in English from the University of Rochester and an MA in journalism from Syracuse University. He has taught various journalism courses as an adjunct at Binghamton University.