After a year of fact-finding, facilitating education and discussion sessions, and listening to campus community member opinions the Bousson Advisory Group released Report to Trustees: Shale Gas Development and the Bousson Environmental Research Reserve. At the time of this report’s release, November 2013, no leasing consultants, seismic testers, or oil and gas companies are at our door with a specific proposal that begs a decision. Nor have administrators or trustees made any decisions about this issue except to refrain from any decision until more facts are available for consideration and to commit to making a final decision in accordance with our Environmental Guiding Principles and based on four factors:
- environmental impacts,
- institutional reputation,
- teaching and learning, and
The Bousson Advisory Group offers this report as a culmination of the first stage of our comprehensive process of education and discussion so that the institution may make a responsible and informed decision in anticipation of a resurgence of leasing and development activity in our region. The authors offer a collection of what we have learned, feedback from the campus community, and recommendations for how to proceed with the conversation.
The Board of Trustees issued a letter to the Bousson Advisory Group in appreciation of and response to the Report to Trustees. The response addresses how the conversation will be handled should the shale gas development industry return to northwest Pennsylvania.