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Shake the Earth: Fracking into the Future

Each year first-year students along with faculty and staff members at Elizabethtown College participate in the Open Book Initiative, which features a common read. During the year the campus community attends events focused on the same topic featured in the book. To complement the 2012-2013 selection about the MarcellusShake the Earth: Fracking into the Future Shale natural gas deposits and hydraulic fracking—Seamus McGraw’s “The End of Country”—the College is hosting a panel discussion about fracking to be held Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 11 a.m. in Leffler Chapel and Performance Center.

Several expects on the topic—Terry Engelder, John Quigley, Matthew M. Haar and Seamus McGraw—will square off in a panel discussion format and explore the place fracking has in society and what it means for our future. Engelder, a professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, is a leading authority on Marcellus Shale gas and one of the first people to realize the importance, benefits and wealth that lay in shale gas.

John Quigley is the principal of John H. Quigley LLC. He served as Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservations and Natural Resources from April 2009 to January 2011. As Secretary, Quigley helped to make Pennsylvania a leader in land conservation, outdoor recreation, alternative energy and public land management. During his tenure, Pennsylvania State Parks were named the best in the nation by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration. He also led a cross-organizational strategic response to Marcellus Shale gas development, including a comprehensive monitoring program to assess the impact of gas exploration on state forests.

Matthew M. Haar, Esq. is a partner in the Harrisburg office of Saul Ewing LLP, and a member of the firm’s Marcellus Shale and Oil and Gas practices. His experience includes litigating disputes related to exploration, production and transportation of oil and natural gases.

In his book “The End of Country,” McGraw documents the battle for land in Susquehanna County (Pa.) following the discovery of Marcellus Shale deposits. Locals struggled to decide which was more valuable to them: The money companies would pay to lease their land or the safety and sanctity of their homes.

Engelder, Quigley, Haar and McGraw will discuss their experiences with fracking, how they believe it should be dealt with and what the practice could mean for our future. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Wednesday, Nov. 7. at 11 a.m. in the Leffler Chapel and Performance Center.

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