Environmental Uncertainty and Economic Development: Fracking in PA

Trip Overview:

Fracking Rig

Hydraulic Fracturing is a method of extracting natural gas by injecting a mixture of water, sand, and chemicals at high pressure into deep wellbores to cause fractures which allow the gas to beextracted. The process has been used for decades, but has gained more attention recently as the practice has become more widespread and questions about the environmental impact have been explored. 

Proponents of the process point to the economic benefits of fracking, which has created many jobs in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, and has allowed extraction of formerly inaccessible natural gas which has been a boon to gas companies. Opponents are worried about environmental impacts, both known and unknown, which could include contamination of ground water, negative effects on wildlife in fresh water areas near the wells, and safe disposal of wastewater.

This trip will provide an opportunity for participants to hear both sides of the debate. You will talk to the people who live in the communities effected by fracking, hearing from those who benefit economically from the process, and from those who are seeing negative effects on their environment.


Trip Itinerary:

This trip has never been offered by Gettysburg College before. It will involve meeting with experts, community members, business leaders, government officials, and authors. You will visit several communities in Pennsylvania. The leaders of this trip will have the opportunity to help shape where the group goes, who they talk to, what they learn, and how they contribute back to the communities they visit.