Type: Public event

Shale Gas and Fracking: Issues for State and Local Governance

Date & time

Dec 3, 2012, 10:00-11:30 am EST


Weill Hall

Free and Open to the Public Panelists: Christopher Borick, Director, Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion Jacquelyn Pless, Energy Policy Associate, National Conference of State Legislatures Erich Schwartzel, Editor of Pipeline, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Moderator: Barry Rabe, Director, Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) See the presentations from the event:

Abstract: Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques are creating significant new opportunities for expanding natural gas and oil production in many regions of the United States. The absence of federal legislation on this issue places state and local governments in central roles on such issues as environmental protection, information disclosure, and severance taxation. Pennsylvania has emerged as a major player in this arena, with dramatic increases in fossil fuel production alongside enactment of major new legislation in early 2012. Michigan appears to be a candidate for expanded fracking operations, with a number of policy questions beginning to emerge. This panel will review emerging patterns in policy development in these two states as well as nationally. It will also feature findings from a new CLOSUP study examining public opinion in both Michigan and Pennsylvania on many dimensions of this issue. Panelist Biographies:

Christopher P. Borick is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Muhlenberg College Institute of Public Opinion. He is a nationally recognized public opinion researcher who has conducted over 250 large-scale public opinion surveys during the past fifteen years. The results of these surveys have appeared in numerous periodicals including Time Magazine, The Wall St Journal, New York Times, Los Angeles Times and Washington Post. He has also provided analysis for the BBC, National Public Radio, PBS, CBS News and NBC Nightly News and had his survey results aired on, CNN, FOX News and C-Span. During his career he has conducted surveys for a variety of government agencies and organizations including the Center for Disease Control, The United Way, Wisconsin Public Radio, The Wisconsin Department of Commerce, the Oneida Indian Nation, The U.S. Department of Labor, and Habitat for Humanity. Dr. Borick currently conducts surveys for the Morning Call newspaper in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He has served as President of the Wisconsin Political Science Association and is currently Vice President of the Pennsylvania Political Science Association. Professor Borick received his undergraduate education at The Pennsylvania State University and a Masters Degree from East Stroudsburg University. He completed his doctoral work at The State University of New York at Binghamton in the area of public policy analysis. He has government experience at both the federal and local levels, including positions with the Internal Revenue Service and Monroe County Pennsylvania Planning Commission. He has published and presented over thirty articles and four books in the area of public policy and public opinion, and has held teaching positions at The State University of New York at Cortland, St. Norbert College, Lehigh University and currently at Muhlenberg College. He has won numerous teaching awards during his career, most recently receiving The Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award at Muhlenberg College in 2006. He and his wife Lisa have two children: Sam who is thirteen and John who is nine.

Jacquelyn Pless is a Policy Associate for the Energy Program at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL). The Energy Program assists states on energy policy issues related to renewable energy, fossil fuels, energy security, transportation fuels, transmission and more, through in-depth research and analysis, responses to requests for information and expert testimony. Jacquelyn tracks fossil fuel, climate change, and transportation fuel state legislation and is the author of several reports, articles and policy briefs on a variety of topics including Natural Gas Development and Hydraulic Fracturing: A Policymaker's Guide, Oil and Gas Severance Taxes: States Work to Alleviate Fiscal Pressures amid the Natural Gas Boom, and A Policymakers Guide to Climate Change Economics. Jacquelyn is also a lead staff to the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Indian Energy Policy & Program's Indian Country Energy and Infrastructure Working Group (ICEIWG). Prior to working at NCSL, Jacquelyn worked for a Pennsylvania State Representative and interned in the Chief Economist's Office of the Human Development Network at the World Bank. She received her bachelor's degree in Economics and Political Science from the Honors College at the University of Vermont and is currently pursuing a Master's in Mineral and Energy Economics at the Colorado School of Mines.

Erich Schwartzel is the editor of Pipeline, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's specialty news site on natural gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Erich lead the Pipeline team who won the 2011 Scripps Howard Award for Environmental Reporting and the Best Specialty Site award from the Online News Association. Erich joined the Post-Gazette's business department in 2009, and now covers natural gas drilling and other energy issues. He's the host of "In the Pipeline," a weekly video round-up of energy news and analysis. Prior to arriving at the Post-Gazette, he worked as an editorial assistant and correspondent for the Boston Globe. Originally from Latrobe, Pa., Erich graduated from Boston University in 2009. He can be reached at [email protected]. Sponsored by: University of Michigan Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) Co-sponsored by: Domestic Policy Corps