Jun 04, 2012

Intelligence Squared to Debate Pros and Cons of Fracking at Aspen Ideas Festival

The debate will happen at the Aspen Ideas Festival in July

On July 1, Intelligence Squared U.S. will partner with the Aspen Ideas Festival to present its 62nd debate, “No Fracking Way: The Natural Gas Boom is Doing More Harm Than Good.”

Natural gas, touted for its environmental, economic and national security benefits, is often thought of as the fuel that will “bridge” the transition from oil and coal to renewable sources. The ability to extract natural gas from shale formations through a method called hydraulic fracturing (fracking) has unleashed vast, untapped sources—by some estimates, the U.S. now sits on a 100-year supply. But contamination from toxic chemicals used in the fracking process has been the source of increasing health and environmental concerns. The debate will strive the answer the question: Can natural gas be part of a clean energy solution, or is it a dangerous roadblock to a fossil-free future?

In support of the motion are Earthjustice Managing Attorney Deborah Goldberg, and Katherine Hudson, watershed program director at Riverkeep, a member-supported watchdog organization dedicated to defending the Hudson River and protecting the drinking water supply of nine million New York City and Hudson Valley residents.

Against the motion are New York Times op-ed columnist Joe Nocera, and Susan Tierney, former assistant secretary for policy at the U.S. Department of Energy and current managing principal at Analysis Group, where she specializes in the electric and gas industries.

Intelligence Squared U.S.'s debates are streamed live on Fora.tv and air on more than 220 NPR stations nationwide. Debates are televised nationally on the WORLD channel and in the New York area on PBS Channel Thirteen, WNET, WLIW and NJTV.

ABC News correspondent John Donvan is the moderator, and the executive producer is Dana Wolfe.

The debate will take place in front of a live audience at the Aspen District Theater in Aspen, Colo. Audience members will vote to decide the winning team.