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Hydrofracking Focus of Presentations

The controversial practice of hydraulic fracturing (hydrofracking) will be the focus of two presentations this week at Keuka College.

Professor of Biology Kasey Klingensmith, Assistant Professor of Chemistry Andrew Robak, and Peter Gamba, founding member of the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes, will discuss the issue Wednesday, April 20, from 6-7 p.m. in Hegeman 109.

The anti-hydrofracking documentary All Fracked Up will be screened Thursday, April 21 from 6-9 p.m. in Hegeman 109. Filmmakers Jeff and Jodi Andrysick will be on hand to answer questions.

Both events, sponsored by the Chemistry Club, are free and open to the public.

The term hydrofracking describes the process by which millions of gallons of a highly pressurized mixture of sand, water, and chemicals are pumped horizontally into underground shale deposits to either create new fractures in the rock or expand existing cracks to access natural gas deposits and bring the gas to the surface.

Energy companies and environmentalists agree that natural gas will help slow climate change because it burns more cleanly than coal or oil and using it will help wean the country from its dependency on other countries for oil. However, considerable controversy surrounds the current implementation of hydraulic fracturing technology in the United States, including upstate New York.

That is because environmental safety and health concerns have emerged and are being debated at the state and national levels.

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