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Boom & Bust: The Impact of Energy Extraction on Local Communities

What is the effect of the boom and bust cycle that accompanies Marcellus Shale and other energy extraction?

A two-day conference focused on local impacts, from economy to education, jobs to health, policies to workforce development, is being sponsored by Duquesne University and Penn State University.

"At this stage, we feel it's critical to bring together the public, scientists, policy makers, advocates and industry representatives to discuss the cyclic nature of limited natural resources," said Dr. Alan Seadler, who leads Duquesne's Institute for Energy and the Environment.

"In an area hungry for jobs and local development, we need to understand both the local impact of rapid economic growth while still planning for that part of the cycle when the resource is fully extracted and the economic activity declines," Seadler said. "This conference provides a neutral ground where the public and experts can interact, and develop an agenda based upon data and focused on questions impacting local communities. 

"Hopefully, this will provide a foundation for long term policy and planning which can take advantage of the windfall economic activity but will also provide for economic diversity and long term community growth."

Some of the speakers will include:

  • Dr. Barbara Sattler of the University of San Francisco, a board member of the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments who serves on the Fracking Committee, which has called for a national moratorium on fracking.
  • Dr. Byron Kohut of Westmoreland County Community College, director of the Marcellus ShaleNET jobs cooperative
  • Dr. Kathy Brasier of Penn State, who researches agricultural economics, sociology and education
  • Dr. Kent Moors of Duquesne, who will chair a panel on local and regional policy, and health issues related to extraction.

When: Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 12-13, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. both days

Where: Duquesne University Power Center, Forbes Avenue and Chatham Square

Cost: $75 early-bird by Oct. 31, $95 after Oct 31; $50 for students

Information: www.duq.edu/boomandbust

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.