Type: Public event

Emerging research on fracking and water policy: A panel discussion

Date & time

Apr 12, 2017, 11:30 am-1:00 pm EDT


Weill Hall, Betty Ford Classroom (1110)
735 S. State Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48109

11:30am-1:00pm (pizza lunch available to first 100 attendees)

Free and open to the public

About the lecture:

While much attention has been focused on the threats that hydraulic fracturing poses to water systems—whether by its consumptive use of freshwater or the risk of contaminating ground- and surface waters—the financial wealth that oil and gas development brings to state and local governments may provide opportunities to protect water resources. This diverse group of scholars will discuss their research at the intersection of fracking and water policy, and as a panel explore whether there are particular policies or practices that might be scaled-up or replicated outside their geographical area of study to create more sustainable energy-water systems.


Jenna Bednar, Department of Political Science, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts, University of Michigan

Margaret Cook, Department of Civil, Architectural & Environmental Engineering, University of Texas at Austin

Barry Rabe, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan


Sarah B. Mills, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

More about the panelists:
Jenna Bednar is Professor of Political Science and the Edie N. Goldenberg Endowed Director of the Michigan in Washington Program at the University of Michigan. She is also a member of the external faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. She studies how the interaction between legal systems and culture affects the ability of a social system to withstand shocks and produce collective goods. She has written extensively on federal constitutional design and numerous articles on cultural evolution and institutional performance. Professor Bednar holds a B.A. from the University of Michigan and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Stanford University. She has been a National Fellow at the Hoover Institution and a visiting faculty member at the University of Southern California Law Center, the University of Michigan Law School, and INSEAD, in Fontainebleau, France.

Margaret Cook’s research focuses on using policies, markets, and technologies to alleviate the effects of water constraints on fuel extraction and energy generation. Margaret has looked at the potential for mitigation of water stress in Texas through collaboration on water conservation or reuse technology improvements between the energy sector and others. She has also examined the potential effects of future drought and heat wave on power generation at thermoelectric power plants in Texas and the Midwest. Margaret has used her expertise at the Texas Legislature, the U.S. Department of Energy, Apache Corp., and Austin Energy. She has presented research findings at national and international conferences and often gives outreach presentations on the water-energy nexus at schools and for community groups. She is from Corpus Christi, TX.

Sarah Mills is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Ford School's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) and a lecturer in the Program in the Environment. She serves as project manager for the Michigan Public Policy Survey (MPPS), supports the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE), and is continuing research looking at the impact of wind energy policy on rural communities. Sarah holds a master’s degree in engineering for sustainable development from the University of Cambridge and a bachelor in mechanical engineering from Villanova University. She earned her PhD in urban and regional planning at the University of Michigan.

Rabe is Director of the Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP), and the J. Ira and Nicki Harris Family Professor of Public Policy in the Ford School and is also an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor. He is also a non-resident senior fellow in the Governance Studies Program at the Brookings Institution and a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration. Rabe has received three research awards from the American Political Science Association, including the 2007 Daniel Elazar Award for Career Contributions to the Study of Federalism. Rabe recently served on the National Research Council Committee on Risk Management and Governance Issues in Shale Gas Development.

Sponsored by:
University of Michigan Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP)

Co-Sponsored by:
University of Michigan Program in the Environment (PitE)
University of Michigan Energy Institute
University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment

For more information visit www.closup.umich.edu or call 734-647-4091.  Follow on Twitter @closup