Events to address issues tied to fracking

By Burton Speakman

Those seeking to become educated about fracking will have four opportunities next week in the region, including seeing the first local presentation of the film “Truthland.”

“Truthland” was created by the Independent Petroleum Association of America and Energy In Depth. The oil-and-gas industry financed the production costs for the film, but the experts who speak in the film were not paid.

“We wanted to show the film because we’re very interested in the oil-and-gas industry,” said Scott S. Rogers, executive director of the Ohio Valley College of Technology, where the film will be shown Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

This film will give people the chance to get more information about the oil- and-gas industry. Then they can form their own opinions, Rogers said.

“We wanted to do this as a public service. We can show the film in up to three classrooms, and we’ll just show it on a loop so everyone can see it,” he said.

Ohio Valley is at 15258 state Route 170 in East Liverpool. There is no cost to attend.

The Ohio Environmental Council is hosting an event Wednesday from 3 to 7 p.m. at the Columbiana Public Library. People receive a lot of information about the potential economic benefits of shale development; this program will educate on the potential environmental costs, said Melanie Houston, spokeswoman for the OEC. This is the first time the OEC is presenting its new, longer program in the Mahoning Valley. The event is free and open to the public.

“We want to increase people’s knowledge and awareness about the environmental issues associated with fracking,” she said. “This is a chance to get past some of the information, or misinformation, being released by the industry.”

Penn State University will have an event focusing on shale development and production from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday at the Salem Community Center. James R. Ladlee, associate director of the Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research, will present the program.

“Understanding the shale-development process is vital for businesses and individuals who want to consider how their talents and products may fit within the oil-and-gas supply chain. Additionally, it is equally important for elected officials, government agencies, education professionals and community nonprofits to have quality information for planning and engagement,” Ladlee said. “My goal would be for each individual to leave the seminar with a solid, fact-based understanding of oil-and-gas development and supply chain, have all their major questions answered and have the practical knowledge to make smart strategic decisions for their businesses or communities.”

Those interested can register for this event online at The cost is $249.

Finally, the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland is sponsoring a panel on fracking Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Hilary Parish, 2750 W. Market St., Fairlawn.

The forum will present both pros and cons as well as a Catholic theological reflection to put the issue in context. There will be time for questions. The program is free and open to the public.

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