Conference at CWRU to focus on economic, environmental and societal impacts of shale gas

Shale Gas ConferenceThe distinguished list of presenters and their topics have been announced for the National Academy of Engineering’s “Topical Meeting on Shale Gas: Promises and Challenges,” taking place June 18-19 at Case Western Reserve University. The agenda of the non-biased informational and educational meeting is a balance of academia, industry and scientific viewpoints on shale gas and shale gas drilling.

The two-day conference will explore various topics, focusing on both the risks and rewards of shale gas, with the chief goal to raise awareness and enhance understanding for a general audience, giving them the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers.

“We have assembled a full presentation with experts in their fields on the benefits and costs of shale gas, and we expect the conference to be very insightful and engaging for those on all sides of the issues,” said Steve Percy, conference co-chair and interim dean of Cleveland State University’s Monte Ahuja College of Business and the past chairman and CEO of BP America.

Day one of the meeting will concentrate on the impact of shale gas on the economy and energy security, with both a view from industry and from science and technology communities.

Mary Taylor, the lieutenant governor for the state of Ohio, will share insights on the opportunities for shale gas in the state.

Additional highlights of day one include several presentations and discussions:

  • “Energy Security and Broader Energy Policy,” discussed by James Bartis, adjunct researcher for the Rand Corp.;
  • “Economic Impact on the Manufacturing Sector,” presented by Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers;
  • “Scientific Challenges of Shale Gas Development,” presented by Mark Zoback, the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Earth Science and Professor of Geophysics in the Department of Geophysics at Stanford University.

Each session throughout the day will end with a panel discussion and an audience question and answer session.

Day two focuses on the environmental, health, safety and societal impact of shale gas. Presentations and discussions include:

  • “Shale Gas and Water Usage and Pollution,” presented by Joseph Ryan, director of the Colorado Water and Energy Research Center at the University of Colorado;
  • “Air Pollution Issues Associated with Shale Gas Production and Usage,” discussed by Gabrielle Petron, atmospheric scientist with the National Oceanic Atmospheric agency;
  • “Occupational Health and Safety Risks,” by Karen B. Mulloy, visiting professor of environmental health at Case Western Reserve University.

As on day one, the day will end with a discussion and be followed by a summary of all sessions that were held throughout the conference.

There is no charge for admission to the June 18-19 event; however, advance registration is required. For more information and to register, visit

The National Academy of Engineering is sponsoring and organizing this event. Case Western Reserve University is hosting the event and co-sponsoring with Cleveland State University.  This meeting marks one of several NAE conferences in Cleveland over the past decade. Earlier sessions involved questions surrounding vaccine production and 21st-century energy options.