Balancing Environmental, Social and Economic Impacts of Shale Gas Development Activities
The Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy invites you to participate in our second annual policy workshop webinar series, Emerging Issues in Shale Gas Development. Natural gas extraction generally, and shale gas extraction in particular, have become highly charged issues as stakeholders debate their effects on environmental and public health and their role in our future energy mix. This webinar series seeks to answer important questions about extraction, the environment, and the future of energy by grounding that debate with expert speakers from a variety of disciplines.
In the fourth installment of our series, Mark Boling, President of V+ Development Solutions, a division of Southwestern Energy Company, will take a look at the debate, which he says can be best characterized as an emotionally charged, trench warfare that fails to adequately address the real risks associated with shale gas development. His presentation will explore industry’s role in helping to create this mess and discuss what industry can do to refocus the debate by having an open dialogue about the real obstacles to responsible development of this resource and how to develop workable solutions to overcome these obstacles. For Southwestern, this means engaging with environmental groups, regulators and the communities impacted by its operations to find solutions effectively balancing the economic, environmental and social impacts of the company's activities.
Presentation Abstract: Thanks to the combined application of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing technologies, domestic supplies of natural gas have surged. The concurrent drop in natural gas prices has allowed many American businesses to be more competitive in the world marketplace, and has spawned a manufacturing renaissance in the United States. This so called “shale gas revolution” has also allowed the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions faster than any other industrialized country and be in a position to reclaim its energy independence. If shale gas can provide all of these enormous benefits to our country, then why is there so much resistance and outright hostility toward shale gas development?
With a few notable exceptions, the debate over shale gas development can be best characterized as an emotionally charged, trench warfare that has failed to adequately address the real risks associated with the development of America’s shale gas resources. On one side, certain environmental groups/activists have waged a fear based campaign against hydraulic fracturing that is not founded on good science or demonstrable facts. On the other side, industry has spent too much time trying to minimize the concerns of the public and not enough time communicating what the real risks are and what industry is doing to mitigate these risks. While both sides must share responsibility for the current situation, my presentation will explore industry’s role in helping to create this mess and discuss what industry can do to refocus the debate by having an open dialogue about the real obstacles to responsible development of this resource and how to develop workable solutions to overcome these obstacles. For Southwestern, this means engaging with environmental groups, regulators and the communities impacted by our operations so we can find solutions that effectively balance the economic, environmental and social impacts of our activities.
About the Speaker: Mark K. Boling is President of V+ Development Solutions, a division of Southwestern Energy Company. The mission of V+ Development Solutions is to identify, develop and implement solutions to the challenges of unconventional resource development that strike an appropriate balance among the environmental, social and economic impacts of the Company’s activities.
Prior to joining Southwestern in January of 2002, he was in private practice in Houston, Texas, specializing in oil and gas transactional work. Mr. Boling was a partner with the law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. where he practiced in the firm’s Oil & Gas/Real Estate Section from 1982 to 1993. Mr. Boling holds a Juris Doctorate degree from Southern Methodist University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology from DePauw University.
Mr. Boling is a frequent speaker on a variety of topics relating to unconventional oil and gas developments and hydraulic fracturing operations. He participated in the preparation of the Atlantic Council report titled “European Unconventional Gas Developments – Environmental Issues and Regulatory Challenges in the EU and the U.S.” and he was appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo to serve on the New York Advisory Panel on High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing. Mr. Boling initiated and continues to lead the effort by Southwestern Energy Company to collaborate with the Environmental Defense Fund and other environmental NGOs to develop a Model Regulatory Framework for Hydraulic Fracturing Operations. The London Financial Times recently named Mr. Boling the U.S. Innovative Lawyer for 2012.
Mr. Boling is a member of the American (Environment, Energy and Resources and Business Law Sections), Arkansas (Natural Resources Law Section) and Texas (Oil, Gas & Mineral Law and Corporate Counsel Sections) Bar Associations.
About the Series: Hosted and sponsored by the Yale Center for Environmental Law and Policy, our second annual webinar series highlights emerging issues in shale gas development. The series is publicly available online and promoted to both domestic and international academic and policy communities, including governmental officials, think tank analysts, climate change advocates, professors, and students. The webinar format enables interested parties to access and participate in these presentations from anywhere in the world. The series is free and open to the public. To register for the online event:
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