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Days of Discovery: Shale and Public Health Conference Recap 10/26-10/27


Blog Section Editor and Sustainability Blogger Catherine Giles (pictured above at the microphone) is interning with The League of Women Voters.

The League of Women Voters is dedicated not only to raising voter awareness, but also to raising public awareness of important issues through education. This year, the League sponsored an event in late October dedicated to learning about the issues surrounding Marcellus Shale Natural Gas Drilling, a hot topic in this region of the United States. Held at University Club on Pitt’s Campus (123 University Place), this free two-day conference focused on presentations of individuals’ expert research surrounding issues people face regarding fracking.

Fracking is an abbreviation for “hydraulic fracturing,” a reference to the method by which people extract natural gas from the ground. (Learn more here!) Experts in the field of public health, psychiatric health, law, and medicine spoke about real issues faced by people in regions where fracking takes place, including water contamination, depression, the threat of radiation poisoning, and the Environmental Rights Amendment of the State Constitution. The approximately 150 attendees listened to various professionals lay out their research and expertise in many fields, with a very special presentation by the Honorable Franklin Kury discussing the Environmental Rights Amendment. Attendees were given note cards, and members of the League of Women Voters read them aloud to presenters (to ensure politeness and respect, of course!). While not as highly attended as last year’s conference (250+ people!), this year’s event was certainly educational, enlightening, and most importantly, nonpartisan!

Photos courtesy of Ashley Nicholson



League of Women Voters

The Straight Scoop on Shale Drilling

What Is Fracking

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