Penn State Behrend hosts fracking panel

Environmental and industry experts on fracking will be at Penn State Behrend for a roundtable discussion Thursday, April 11, at 7 p.m. in Jack Burke Research and Educational Development Center (REDC) 180.

This event was planned by students in a public relations class taught by Ursula Davis, Ph.D., to fulfill a course requirement.

The event will begin with a student presentation covering the fracking process and facts about the process.

Contributed photo: The panel will include guests from the Sierra Club and Behrend faculty members.Contributed photo: The panel will include guests from the Sierra Club and Behrend faculty members.

They will also cover some of the bigger contrives such as the political, legal, and environmental issues caused by the fracking industry.

An open panel discussion will follow. The six members that comprise the panel will be representing two organizations, The Sierra Club and Adler Tank Rentals.

The Sierra Club will include Allegheny Defense Project Forest Watch Coordinator Cathy Pedler and Behrend History Professor John Rossi, Ph.D.

Adler Tank Rentals, a fracking solution storage rental service, will be represented by Industrial & Environmental Sales Account Manager Ryan Hess.

After the panel, they will open the floor to key questions on the subject.

Some of the key questions students will be asking include: Is deep well injection a suitable solution for the disposal of fracking water? In 10 years, where do you see this industry? Will it be the new economic engine of Pennsylvania, or will the gas companies have more on the next region after extracting as much as possible?

“It is the fastest growing industry in Pennsylvania and the entire process is becoming extremely politicized,” said Behrend senior Alec Italiano. “We took it upon ourselves as a public higher learning facility to cut through this web of spin in order to present the public with the honest truth about this industry.”