On Thursday, Sept. 27 the Environmental Action Club (EAC) will hold a discussion on Hydraulic Fracturing (“fracking”)—a method of extraction used most notably for natural gas—in Boehm 260 at 7 p.m.
The process of fracking is a recent advancement in drilling technique and technology, which helps make horizontal drilling feasible. This method is particularly useful in the extraction of natural gas, which can primarily exist at the same depth underground, but spread out over millions of acres which makes traditional vertical drilling completely impractical.
Fracking has received much criticism because of major environmental risks involved in the process. The most notable of these risks are the potential for water contamination from chemical leaks, as well as climate change due to migration of methane gas. Fracking is a topic of heavy discussion in Pennsylvania due to the Marcellus Shale formation, which is an enormous shale formation with natural gas that sprawls underneath the majority of our state. It is believed to be the second largest natural gas find in the world, and as energy prices continue to rise, it becomes that much more important.
As more people become concerned over the safety and preservation of our environment, the debate between those in support of fracking and those against it becomes more intense, particularly in the political world. With a major election coming up, it’s very important to know where the candidates stand on this issue as they look to balance the economic benefits that fracking the Marcellus Shale can bring against the environmental hazards involved in the fracking process.
Karen Feridun, the founder of Berks Gas Truth and the newly formed 350 Berks and Lehigh Valley Climate Action, will host the event.
Three short films will be screened including: “The Story of Stuff” and “The Story of Change” both by Annie Leonard, and “The Sky is Pink” by Josh Fox. Afterwards, Feridun will lead a discussion about climate change that will include the topic of fracking. These discussions will be an opportunity to learn more about fracking and other causes of climate change that present real dangers to our environment.
Other EAC events scheduled for this semester include a DIY screen printing workshop, trail clean-up at Sacony Creek, adoption of a stream site in the Maidencreek Watershed, volunteering at FarmAID, hosting a talk about mountaintop coal removal, and an expansion of the Take Back the Tap campaign.
For more information, students can attend an EAC meeting every other Thursday in Boehm 104 at 11 a.m., with the next scheduled meeting on Oct. 4. In addition, questions can be sent to EAC@kutztown.edu.

By: Paul Keldsen

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