PON Film Series Event: Mediating Public Disputes on Fracking

Event Date: Thursday April 25, 2013
Time: 7:00 - 9:30 PM
Location: Austin Hall 111, Harvard Law School

The PON Film Series is pleased to present:

Mediating Public Disputes on Fracking

Thursday, April 25, 2013
7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Austin Hall 111, Harvard Law School

Free admission; public welcome.  Pizza and drinks will be served.

About the event:

The Program on Negotiation invites the public to a special PON film series event on the topic of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.”  PON will screen excerpts from two documentaries, Gas Rush Stories (16 minutes) and Fracknation (30 minutes), which present differing perspectives on the potential  risks and rewards of fracking as a method of producing affordable energy within the US.  These two films reflect a broad divide within the country over this controversial issue.

Using the films as an entry point, Patrick Field, Associate Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, will lead a discussion on the ways in which this public dispute might be mediated.  Is there anything particular to the debate over fracking that is substantially different than debates over nuclear power, wind or coal? How do we evaluate the potential risks involved in this method of energy development?  Are state and federal agencies adequate mediating institutions to manage trade-offs between competing interests of cheap energy, easy access to goods and services, clean water, and undeveloped or pastoral landscapes?  What other avenues are available to us as a nation?

PON invites you to join us for an interactive and dynamic discussion on these and other questions related to fracking, as highlighted in these thought-provoking documentaries.

About the Speaker:

Patrick Field is Managing Director at the Consensus Building Institute (CBI), Associate Director of the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, and Senior Fellow at the University of Montana Public Policy Research Institute.

Mr. Field has helped thousands of stakeholders reach agreement on land use, development, and natural resource management issues across the United States and Canada. As one of the country’s most experienced group facilitators, he has helped to design and manage dozens of large and diverse working groups, from those seeking collaborative action, to those who are already embroiled in high conflict.  He has also trained and advised governments (federal, regional, state and local) as well as corporations, foundations, and Native American and First Nation groups.

His recent work includes assessing and facilitating a year-long process to re-engineer the member’s process for PJM Interconnection, the largest wholesale regional electric transmission organization in the world, consolidating DOE fossil energy laboratories, the future of Vermont’s electricity supply, improving the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership’s collaborative skills, and the siting of wind energy facilities. Mr. Field has experience working with land use and development, design and construction, and LEED design.  He has assisted a variety of indoor and small source air quality voluntary programs sponsored by the U.S. EPA.  He was an energy efficiency planner for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ planning and construction agency between 1989 and 1992.

Co-author of the award-winning book, Dealing with an Angry Public, Mr. Field is listed on the roster of conflict resolution professionals of the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.  He has authored or co-authored numerous articles and book chapters.

He holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA from Carleton College, summa cum laude. Born and raised on a ranch in rural western Colorado, he currently resides in Watertown, Massachusetts.


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