Scientist Discusses Marcellus Shale Issues - SUNY Cortland

Scientist Discusses Marcellus Shale Issues

 Scientist Discusses Marcellus Shale Issues

09/30/2010 

William Podulka, an experimental physicist from Brooktondale, N.Y., will deliver two back-to-back lectures on the impending natural gas drilling in the Marcellus shale on Monday, Oct. 11, at SUNY Cortland.

Podulka, who chairs Residents Opposing Unsafe Shale-Gas Extraction (ROUSE), will begin his first lecture at 7:30 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.

Titled, “Shale Gas Drilling: What’s The Fuss About?,” the first talk offers a general overview of shale geology, the techniques used to extract natural gas from shale beds, and other issues about the technology.

The second lecture, “Is Marcellus Shale Gas Drilling a Cure for Upstate New York’s Economic Woes,” will take place at 8:15 p.m. in the same location.

Co-sponsored by the Campus Artist and Lecture Series (CALS) and the Geography Department, the talks are free and open to the public. Both lectures are aimed at the general public and will feature separate question-and-answer sessions.

A physicist with a lifelong interest in energy and environmental issues, Podulka and his wife researched information on many different aspects of the gas drilling issue in 2009 after learning that gas drilling was coming to the region. He created TCgasmap.org, a map of Tompkins County properties leased for gas drilling and recently released a similar map for Cortland County. ROUSE, the grass-roots group he chairs in Tompkins County, seeks to educate the public about related issues and works to protect residents from harm. 

In the first talk, Podulka also will introduce the environmental, public health, economic and sociological implications that need to be considered in careful planning and regulation of proposed drilling.

His second talk, which is more technical in nature and geared for economists and planners, focuses specifically on the claims of significant economic benefits resulting from developing the Marcellus shale. 

Podulka will summarize the methodology and key findings in six different reports about the economic impacts of gas drilling and resource extraction.

“One class of reports makes optimistic assumptions and depends on an economic model that does not consider negative impacts on existing businesses,” Podulka said. “These form the basis of speculation that drilling causes economic growth.”

In contrast, studies that have looked at impacts on real economies show a mixed picture and suggest further study, he added.

“An important question is how comparable the studied areas, all very rural, are to upstate New York,” Podulka said. “There is some evidence that our local regional economy, consisting as it does of agriculture, tourism and education, might be more vulnerable to negative impacts from gas drilling than more strictly rural areas.”

Podulka has a doctorate in applied engineering and physics from Cornell University, where he earned a minor in scarce resource economics. He also holds a master’s degree in secondary education from Cornell University. Podulka completed his post-doctoral work at Cornell in high-energy synchrontron. He served as a research associate with Cornell’s Laboratory of Plasma Studies. Podulka has a book in publication titled Economic Claims and Counterclaims: Evaluating the Real Economic Impact of Natural Gas Drilling. He has spoken frequently on the topic and related issues during the last two years, mostly recently on Sept. 21 as a panel scientist at a public forum in Rochester, N.Y.

For more information, contact SUNY Cortland Associate Professor of Psychology Linda Lavine at (607) 753-2040.


More News

Scholars of the Year Represent Broad Range of Majors

Scholars of the Year Represent Broad Range of Majors

A national honors society’s “Scholars of the Year” represent a diverse range of majors — from biomedical sciences to business economics.


Alumni Association to Honor Seven Graduates

Alumni Association to Honor Seven Graduates

Three distinguished alumni, a young alumna and three outstanding volunteers will be honored.


First Annual Film Festival Flies into Cortland

First Annual Film Festival Flies into Cortland

The student-run Blackbird Film Festival will bring 100 original films to Sperry Center April 22-24.


Honorary Degrees Recognize Two Careers that Changed Lives

Honorary Degrees Recognize Two Careers that Changed Lives

Karen Collier Flewelling ’64 and Richard J. Pollack ‘77 will be recognized at Undergraduate Commencement on May 14.


Two Seniors First to Earn Service Distinction on Diploma

Two Seniors First to Earn Service Distinction on Diploma

The new recognition honors students for service learning and civic engagement.


Graduate Expanding Literacy in Africa

Graduate Expanding Literacy in Africa

Danielle Sweetman M ’15 is changing the lives of Ugandan children one book at a time.


Top Executives to Explore U.S.-Cuba Business Opportunities

Top Executives to Explore U.S.-Cuba Business Opportunities

College symposium features business leaders with experience in Cuba’s opening economy


Future Sports Medicine Professionals Learn from the Best

Future Sports Medicine Professionals Learn from the Best

The College hosts a one-day Sports Medicine Symposium on Friday, April 22.


Students Find Purpose in Relay for Life

Students Find Purpose in Relay for Life

This year’s event kicks off at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 23, in Park Center Alumni Arena.


WW II Japanese-American Victim to Speak

WW II Japanese-American Victim to Speak

Sam Mihara will share his recollection of a dark chapter in American history.


Explore

Visit

Contact