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Meridian Institute

Hydraulic Fracturing Forum

External Project Site: www.uwyo.edu/ser/conferences/conferences-past/hydraulic-fracturing/
Related: Climate Change and Energy, Environment and Natural Resources

Photo credit: BLM/Casper Field Office, Wyoming

The use of hydraulic fracturing to recover oil and gas resources from unconventional geological formations has significantly increased in recent years in Wyoming and elsewhere in the United States. The expanded application of hydraulic fracturing has spurred an increase in domestic energy production; it has also generated public concern about the potential environmental impacts of the practice.

Meridian Institute worked with the University of Wyoming’s School of Energy Resources, Ruckelshaus Institute, and Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources to convene, manage, and facilitate a large public forum on the practice of hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas development. Meridian facilitated a Steering Committee composed of representatives from industry, regulatory agencies, and the environmental community, who guided the development of the forum agenda and selected speakers to represent a diversity of expertise and perspectives on hydraulic fracturing.

Meridian also facilitated the forum itself, which was titled “Hydraulic Fracturing: A Wyoming Energy Forum.” It convened in Laramie, Wyoming, on September 26 and 27, 2011. Approximately 400 individuals attended.

The goal of the forum was to provide objective information to the public, the media, and policymakers about the use of hydraulic fracturing in petroleum and natural gas development in Wyoming. The forum was designed specifically to examine the technical issues and environmental concerns related to hydraulic fracturing technology and activities directly linked to its deployment. It was not designed to examine more broadly the role of the oil and gas industry in Wyoming. Desired outcomes of the forum included increased public understanding of the role of hydraulic fracturing in oil and gas development in Wyoming, an index of worker safety and environmental mitigation best practices, and a list of specific research gaps that need to be addressed in the state.

For more information, see http://www.uwyo.edu/SER/conferences/hydraulic-fracturing/index.html.


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