Hydraulic Fracturing Debate: the Process, Benefits, and Hazards

  • on 16 Apr 2013
  • Convocation Hall

How is hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) done in Tennessee? What are the benefits to the state and what hazards does the process pose? Geologist Scott Gilbert and anti-fracking activist Eric Lewis will address these questions at a debate-style panel discussion scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in Convocation Hall.

Gilbert holds a B.S. in geology from Tennessee Tech University. During his 22-year career with Highland Drilling he oversaw casing programs and supervised drilling and rig deployment for hundreds of oil and gas wells in Tennessee and Kentucky, and helped implement Highland’s contract with the Department of Energy to plug and abandon more than 600 wells. In 2002, he joined Nami Resources, which later became Vinland Energy, serving as chief geologist and vice president of exploration. Gilbert is now manager of exploration for Monteagle Oil & Gas, LLC, where he oversees leases, acquisitions, well planning and permitting.

Lewis holds a B.S. in political science from the University of Illinois. He has three decades of experience working to address environmental issues and served on the Governor’s Panel on Forestry Management in the early 1990s. Lewis is currently president of the Swan Conservation Trust, established to preserve forest lands in Tennessee, and administrator of the Cumberland Green Bioregional Council, working to promote environmental education. Lewis is a founding member of the Coalition for a Frack-Free Tennessee, the Tennessee Forest Defense Council, and the Nashville Peace and Justice Center. His green construction business, Solar Works, has been building energy-efficient residential and commercial structures since 1979.

The program is sponsored by the Babson Center, Environmental Studies Department, the Forestry and Geology Department, Green House, and the Cumberland Center for Justice and Peace. For more information contact Leslie Lytle by e-mail or at 931.598.9979 or 592.6594.