Professors to talk fracking “facts”

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CORNER BROOK  People in the Corner Brook area will have the chance to learn “The Facts About Fracking: An Engineering Perspective” Thursday evening.

Memorial University is presenting the forum, which will also be webcast live, at the Greenwood Inn starting at 7 p.m. It is a presentation from the Harris Centre in conjunction with the Environmental Policy Institute of Grenfell.

Maurice Dusseault, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Waterloo, and Leslie Anne James, Chevron chair in Petroleum Engineering at Memorial’s faculty of engineering and applied science, are leading the session.

Despite the dangers posed by global warming, humanity’s demand for fossil energy keeps growing, a press release on the forum stated.

In both the developed and developing worlds, the demand keeps growing for fuel used in transportation, heating and cooling, cooking, manufacturing and other needs. Newly-discovered shale oil and shale gas deposits are lessening the developed world’s dependence on petroleum from volatile geopolitical regions, the release says.

The technology of releasing oil and gas from shale deposits is known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking.”

“While the economic benefits of fracking are well known, there exists much controversy over its social and environmental costs,” the release states. “Fracking has been blamed for poisoning the groundwater, polluting the surface water and the air around wells, siphoning scarce drinking water during the drilling process, and even causing earthquakes.”

The forum will focus on how fracking works and its impacts, the risks and mitigating factors that might make it safer for humans and the environment.

Also to be discussed is the role of government. There will be a question period.

For more information, or to watch the webcast live, visit

Organizations: Greenwood Inn, Harris Centre, Environmental Policy Institute University of Waterloo

Geographic location: Corner Brook

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Recent comments

  • Dr. Diana Messervy
    January 28, 2014 - 12:12

    When are the oil barons going to wake up and take responsibility for the devastation they are creating with our atmosphere? How much more weather disaster will it take??