WUEG September 2015 Newsletter


September 2015

increase as Ukraine hopes to become less

dependent on Russian natural gas. Nearly thirty

years after Chernobyl, a nuclear renaissance may be

Ukraine’s best solution.


Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


Event review: Impacts of Fracking

A technical presentation and discussion on policy

Zach Ennis – Vice President, Events Committee

On September 22, the Wharton Undergraduate

Energy Group and Penn Sustainability Review

hosted a presentation and discussion panel on the

topic of hydraulic fracturing, more commonly

known as fracking, in North America.

The event began with an approximately 20 minute

video presentation on exploration, drilling, and

completion. Prior to beginning the presentation,

the audience was cautioned that the video series

was prepared by Chesapeake Energy, one of the

largest natural gas producers in the United States,

and as such could demonstrate the topic in a

biased manner. Overall, the presentation was

objective and mostly technical in nature. After the

video, students asked more critical questions

regarding possible environmental damages to add

an opposing opinion.

A panel followed with a more neutral discussion of

the impacts of fracking that was moderated by

second-­‐year MBA, Pujan Kasaju. Pujan has

extensive experience in the oil and gas financial

sphere – specifically his previous employment was

at the energy private equity giant, Riverstone


The three panelists included: Professor Andrew

Jackson, Dillon Weber, and Sasha Klebnikov.

Professor Jackson previously worked for over two

decades in various fluid sciences with Exxon Mobil

and is now a professor of tribology in the Penn

Engineering School. Dillon is a senior majoring in

Chemical Engineering and Economics. He has

researched gas production and written extensively

on the associated tax policies, especially in the

Marcellus Shale. Lastly, Sasha is pursuing his

Masters in Heat Transfer and Energy Science and

serves as the Editor in Chief of the Penn

Sustainability Review.

The panel started off with questions on the

environmental impacts of fracking, a hot topic in

the media and politics. Professor Jackson prefaced

the discussion by suggesting that students keep in

mind the potential detriments associated with all

energy sources. Panelists then continued to

discuss the impacts of various energy sources and

how fracking compares. The general sentiment

was positive with the rationale that fracking has

the ability to replace coal as a cheaper, less

detrimental power source. Panelists also discussed

and cited statistics about the misconceptions of

methane leakages, possibility for groundwater

contamination, and wastewater disposal. All three

agreed that fracking was definitely a hazard 10 to

15 years ago when regulation was minimal and the

industry was so new, but now the industry has

evolved to improve their techniques to be

whartonenergygroup.com 8

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