Future of Hydraulic Fracturing

What is the Future of Hydraulic Fracturing in Colorado?

On February 19, 2021, the Colorado Local Science Engagement Network hosted a two part discussion on the future of hydraulic fracturing in the United States and Colorado. The virtual session featured scientific experts and decision-makers, each of whom shared a unique perspective on the economic, environmental, human health, and community considerations of hydraulic fracturing and what we might be able to expect at both the state and national level in the future.

Be sure to check out the full agenda and recorded video session uploaded here.

We want to thank our event co-sponsors at the American Association for the Advancement in Sciences (AAAS), the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Environmental Sciences (CIRES), The AAAS center for Scientific Evidence in Public Issues (EPI center), The Institute for Science and Policy, and the Media and Climate Change Observatory (MeCCO).

For more information and continued updates on science policy in Colorado, check out our science notes.

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Speaker Bios

National Level

Tom Murphy. Tom Murphy, Director of Penn State’s Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research(MCOR). Tom has 35 years of experience working with public officials, researchers, industry, government agencies, and landowners during his tenure with the Outreach branch of the  University. His current work is centered on educational consultation in energy transitions, specifically at the convergence of shale gas and  renewables, with a more recent emphasis on  utility-scale solar. In his role with MCOR, Tom provides leadership to a range of Penn State’s  related energy outreach events and research activities.

Mark Zoback. Dr. Mark D. Zoback is the Benjamin M. Page Professor of Geophysics at Stanford University, Director of the Stanford Natural Gas Initiative and Co-Director of the Stanford Center for Induced and Triggered Seismicity and the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage and Senior Fellow in the Precourt Institute for Energy.  Dr. Zoback conducts research on in situ stress, fault mechanics, and reservoir geomechanics with an emphasis on shale gas, tight gas and tight oil production as well as CO2 sequestration. Dr. Zoback served on the Secretary of Energy Subcommittee on shale gas development and the National Academy of Engineering Committee that investigated the Deepwater Horizon accident. He is the author of two textbooks and the author/co-author of about 400 technical papers. His most recent book, Unconventional Reservoir Geomechanics, was written with Arjun Kohli, and published in 2019 by Cambridge University Press.  Dr. Zoback has received a number of awards and honors including election to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering in 2011 and the Robert R. Berg Outstanding Research Award of the AAPG in 2015. He was the 2020 chair of the Society of Petroleum Engineers Technical Committee on Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage.

Amy Pickle. Amy Pickle directs the State Policy Program at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. She focuses on state and local roles in developing energy resources, including oil and gas development and production; the interaction among federal, state and local water management policies; the role of water utilities in provision of ecosystem services; and local governments’ efforts to adapt to climate change. She also has worked extensively on water and energy governance at the state level, including effective stakeholder engagement and improving regulatory processes. She served on both the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission and the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission. Pickle is a senior lecturing fellow at Duke Law School, where she teaches energy law. Previously, she was a senior attorney at the Southern Environmental Law Center and an assistant attorney general with the North Carolina Department of Justice Environmental Division.

State Level

Bruce Barker. Bruce Barker is the Weld County Attorney.  He was appointed County Attorney in April, 1993.  Bruce was Assistant Weld County Attorney from 1983 to 1993.  He received a bachelor’s degree in Business/Finance and his law degree from the University of Colorado.  Bruce has served as President and Secretary/Treasurer of the Colorado County Attorneys Association.  He has been and continues to be involved in his community, serving on the Greeley Transitional House Board of Directors, as President of the Centennial Rotary Club, and as President of the Windsor High School Football Team’s Parent Booster Club.

Julie Murphy. Julie Murphy was appointed as the COGCC Director on July 1, 2020, from her position as Chief of Staff and Senior Policy Advisor. Murphy’s strong oil and gas regulatory expertise draws from 7 years of service with the Colorado Department of Natural Resources. Prior to her appointment in 2020, she served as the COGCC’s Director and the Hearings and Regulatory Affairs Manager and was an Assistant Attorney General representing the Commission and Division of Reclamation Mining and Safety. In the private sector, Julie spent five years representing clients in land use, natural resources, private property, and environmental disputes. Murphy has a B.S. in Wildlife Biology, Kansas State University; a Master of Earth and Environmental Resources Management and J.D. from the University of South Carolina; and a Masters of Studies in Environmental Law from the Vermont Law School.

Daniel Kaffine. Daniel Kaffine is a Professor in the Department of Economics and an Institute Fellow in the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is currently an Associate Editor at Resource and Energy Economics and European Economic Review and serves on the Editorial Council for the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists and the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. Recent and ongoing research projects examine the environmental effects of transportation policy, the impacts of the rapidly increasing role of wind power in the electricity sector, the intersection of energy and environmental policy, and the role of property rights and institutions in natural resource use and conservation. 


Suzanne Tegen. Suzanne Tegen is the Assistant Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy with expertise in energy economics and policy, and a Ph.D. in Energy Policy from the University of Colorado. Her current work includes research on the equitable transition from coal power. Suzanne came to CNEE from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) where she spent 14 years as an energy analyst, researcher, and manager of the Technology, Engineering, and Deployment group for wind and water power.She has authored or co-authored over 50 reports including one on clean energy policies for the Clean Energy Ministerial’s Solutions Center and she received the Ministerial’s C3E Mid-career award in 2016. Before graduate school, Tegen worked for the U.S. Antarctic Program at the South Pole and McMurdo stations and for the Center for Resource Solutions in San Francisco. Beyond her job requirements, she is passionate about mentoring and energy education, diversity, and inclusivity. She is a founding member of Women of Renewable Industries and Sustainable Energy and served on their Executive Committee for 9 years.

Christine Wiedinmyer. Dr. Christine Wiedinmyer is the Associate Director for Science at the University of Colorado Boulder’s Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences. A former scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Dr. Wiedinmyer holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Tulane University and a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Wiedinmyer’s research focuses on the identification and quantification of various sources and modeling the transport and fate of emitted pollutants in the atmosphere. Dr. Wiedinmyer is an expert in interdisciplinary research to connect her research to other areas of societal relevance, such as public health, land management, and climate. Dr. Wiedinmyer is also one of the founders and currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Earth Science Women’s Network (ESWN)