The Salon on Climate Change and Society

May 21st (2017)

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    Program Registration is Closed.

    Fracking 101: How We Got Here, How We Move Ahead

    Fracking has become an integral part of the Colorado landscape, literally, politically and economically.  A fatal explosion in Firestone in April, a lifting of the moratorium on fracking in Boulder County on May 1, and recent legal action brought by the Colorado Attorney General against Boulder County have all highlighted the enormous challenges citizens face in understanding the impact fracking has on local communities and the environment.  In order to shed further light on the issues, the Salon on Climate Change and Society will host a panel of local and national experts on various aspects of the subject, moderated by journalist and writer Carah Wertheimer on Sunday, May 21, from 2-4 pm in the Boulder Shambhala Center Community Room.   

    You are invited to submit questions in advance of the Salon to [email protected] to help ensure that the panel covers what is most relevant to you. 

    Panelists include:

    Joel Dyer is currently editor of Boulder Weekly where his work focuses on social reporting with an emphasis on the environment, immigration and politics. His work has appeared in New York Times Sunday Magazine, Vanity Fair, U.S.News & World Report, Mother Jones, Utne Reader and numerous other publications.  He has been on such programs as Today Show, Good Morning America, Fox News (Bill O’Reilly), 48 Hours, Nightline, ABC/NBC/CBS Nightly News, and The Editors. He has won more than 30 national and regional journalism awards.

    Suzanne Spiegel is a founder of Frack Free Colorado which has helped organize campaigns against fracking in Boulder County, City of Boulder, and Broomfield. She helped fundraise and organize for Colorado's 2016 state ballot initiatives. She is currently organizing and fundraising around legal actions to keep fracking out of Boulder County, and Colorado at large. Suzanne is a yoga and meditation teacher who believes that as we connect to our own essential nature through mindfulness, we begin to perceive our inter-connectedness and our desire to care for each other and our planet, grows.

    Walter Hang is the president of Toxics Targeting, Inc., an environmental database firm in Ithaca, NY.  Between 2009 and 20015, Mr. Hang coordinated an statewide research, policy advocacy, coalition building and media outreach campaign that played an instrumental role in requiring Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to adopt a landmark statewide high-volume hydrofracking prohibition.  As a result, not one shale gas production well has ever been fracked in New York.

    Tricia Olson is a citizen-activist who spearheaded ballot initiatives 75 and 78 summer of 2016.

    Dan Leftwich is an attorney representing, among others, community groups seeking to enact local or state-wide initiatives and defend their constitutional rights to protect themselves from the hazards to public health, safety and the environment of hydraulic fracturing and other corporate and industrial activities.  He serves as co-counsel representing Earth Guardian youth plaintiffs in a challenge to the COGCC (Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission).  Dan is a founding member of Boulder Rights Of Nature, a group dedicated to establishing the legal rights of nature in Boulder County and beyond. 

    Carah Wertheimer (moderator) writes about food, health and sustainability for the Boulder Daily Camera, and was previously the community reporter at the Longmont Times-Call. Her work has also appeared in the Denver Post, Boulder Weekly, Broomfield Enterprise and other area papers. Her environmental background includes working at an outdoor education center and on an off-the-grid, organic, free-range dairy goat farm in the New Mexico high desert. She was involved in the effort to stop the planting of GMO sugar beets on Boulder County open space lands, and is a member of EcoDharma Sangha. Follow her @PlanetCarah on, where she posts her essays on matters political and personal, and on Twitter.

    For further reading on fracking in Colorado please see these articles:
    Fractured: Showdown in Boulder County
    by Daniel Glick and Ted Wood
    Behind Closed Doors
    by Joel Dyer
    Boulder County Boosts Push to Put Anti Fracking Measures on the Ballot
    by Carah Wertheimer

    For maps of wells and fracking data throughout Colorado see:

    We hope you can join us for this lively and informative gathering!
    The Salon team: Emily, Chris, George