KU News Release

Feb. 28, 2012
Contact: Heather Anderson, Dole Institute of Politics, 785-864-1422

Environmental, industrial experts to discuss 'fracking' at Dole Institute

More Information

LAWRENCE — The Dole Institute of Politics Student Advisory Board will host Edward Cross, president of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association, and Joe Spease, Sierra Club of Kansas, for a discussion about hydraulic fracturing.

The program, “Fracking: An Environmental Debate,” is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 5, at the Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas. It is free and open to the public.

"Hydraulic fracturing has been in the news so much lately, from stories about earthquakes to oil independence to alternative energy sources. This program is extremely timely,” said Andrew Toth, Dole Institute Student Advisory Board coordinator. “This fascinating discussion will shed light on the truths and myths about hydraulic fracturing. With panelists both for and against fracking, it should be of interest to experts and laymen alike.”

Hydraulic fracturing is a process which allows companies to recover natural gas and oil from shale formations deep in the ground by injecting highly pressurized fluid to fracture source rocks. The environmental risks of this process are highly controversial.

Cross oversees all of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association’s business activities and programs. He has served in the position since September 2003 and is responsible for public policy advocacy and interaction with external stakeholders, including elected officials, regulators, government decision-makers and community thought leaders.

Joe Spease is the Fracking Committee Chair of the Sierra Club of Kansas as well as president and CEO of WindSoHy. Spease is a high-performance executive whose leadership in the field of renewable energy has taken many forms. He has published articles on wind, compressed air energy storage, hydrogen and solar power, and provided frequent expert testimony on various energy-related issues before legislative committees and as a guest speaker at energy forums and conferences.

The program is co-sponsored by the KU Association of Water and Environment and KU Energy Club.

Each semester the Dole Institute of Politics Student Advisory Board selects a topic and presents a program. The board is the Dole Institute’s student governing body, which is open to all KU students, and allows students to be actively involved in Dole Institute programming and presents opportunities to network with Dole Institute guests.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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