Natural gas symposium to highlight research, regulations, clean energy

Colorado State University’s fifth annual Natural Gas Symposium, hosted by the CSU Energy Institute, will take place Oct. 27-28 in the Lory Student Center on the university’s main campus.

Against an ever-evolving backdrop of issues around natural gas technologies, policies and environmental impacts, the symposium will present balanced views in the latest research and innovations from close to 40 speakers from CSU and around the nation. This year’s  theme is sustainable industry-community collaborations.

Keynote and sessions

Fred Krupp, president of the Environmental Defense Fund, will deliver the keynote lecture at 6 p.m. Oct. 27 in the third-floor ballroom of the Lory Student Center.

The agenda opens earlier that day with “Natural Gas 101,” an overview of the basics of air, water, emission controls, industry best practices, geology, and drilling, including hydraulic fracturing.

The free event is open to CSU students, faculty, researchers, staff, business leaders, oil and gas supply chain industries, environmentalists, government officials, community members, media and anyone interested in hearing all sides of the issues.

Session topics will offer in-depth analysis of a range of issues: clean air and water; resolving conflicts between state and federal policies; economic cycles of the extraction industry; workplace safety and public safety; solving the state vs. local control puzzle; and developing a vision for sustainability and positive community relationships.

The day-and-a-half-long symposium is presented by CSU’s Energy Institute, the central hub of energy-focused scholarship, education and outreach across the university. Founded in 2012, the institute encompasses 12 research centers focused on different aspects of energy research, including water sustainability, energy policy, photovoltaics, laser sensing and diagnostics.

Balanced research and public policy

With a growing reputation for independent research on natural gas emissions, land reclamation and other topics, CSU is uniquely positioned to help the public understand the natural gas boom occurring in Colorado as well as throughout the West and across the country. The symposium’s goal is to lead the conversation on credible, multi-disciplinary solutions to complex issues facing the natural gas industry.

“Responsible natural gas development is really about thoughtful public policy, the industry’s social license to operate, continuous technological advancements and forward thinking. It is critical to bring diverse perspectives and areas of expertise to the conversation and that is how we have designed this symposium,” said Bill Ritter, former Colorado governor and now director of the Center for the New Energy Economy, which is part of the Energy Institute at CSU. “Colorado State University is fast becoming a trusted voice of credible data and research for the natural gas issue.  CSU’s leadership as an ‘honest broker’ of information from all sides of the issue is being noticed by other states.”

Paper summarizes the issues

In preparation for the 2015 Natural Gas Symposium, the Energy Institute and Center for the New Energy Economy, in partnership with Wells Fargo, are releasing “Trends in Responsible Natural Gas Development.” This paper captures the conversation from CSU’s natural gas symposia over the past four years, plus a roundtable conversation with industry leaders convened by the Center for the New Energy Economy in the summer of 2013.

“Wells Fargo is proud to have supported the CSU Natural Gas Symposium for four straight years,” said Ashley Grosh, vice president of Wells Fargo Environmental Affairs. “This event is truly unique as it brings together key energy and community stakeholders to discuss the importance of a safe and sustainable energy future. Additionally this year, the event will showcase entrepreneurs from across the country who have developed technology solutions that can allow energy companies to be more efficient and conserve critical water resources. We commend CSU for their convening efforts and ongoing leadership.”

Last year, the Natural Gas Symposium took place in Denver,  with more than 700 industry leaders and stakeholders in attendance and more than 3,000 viewers on live-streamed sessions.

The Natural Gas Symposium is free to attend, but online registration is required. The event will also be live streamed.