Fracking and More: Environmental Issues in Unconventional Energy Development

Class Unique: 28613
Fracking and More: Environmental Issues in Unconventional Energy Development The unconventional oil and gas development techniques of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing were first combined on a commercial scale in the Barnett Shale in North Central Texas in the late 1990s. The growth of the oil and gas industry in the United States since that time has been unprecedented. Drilling in tight formations long known to contain significant volumes of gas and oil has proceeded rapidly. Environmental issues have arisen as a consequence of the rapid pace and expansive geographic scope of this growth. In many cases the development has occurred in areas not subject to significant oil and gas development in the past. Both industry and government have sometimes lack the knowledge, staffing, and laws to keep up with the growth in the sector. This course will provide the student with a basic understanding of unconventional oil and gas development and the technology which spurs this growth. The course will then review the associated environmental and natural resource issues impacted by this change in the energy sector and the framework of laws and policies affecting the industry. The course will also include a review of current studies by government agencies and academic institutions, trends in litigation, and how the environmental issues have been addressed by the oil and gas industry, governmental agencies, and nongovernmental organizations. Finally, the course will explore how environmental issues are typically addressed in an oil and gas transaction. It is strongly recommended that students taking the course have some course background in either energy (oil and gas) or environmental law.

Class Details

Meeting Days Time Location
Thursday 5:45 - 7:35 pm TNH 3.114
Evaluation Method Date Time Alpha Range Room
Final 5/13/15 8:30 am A-Z

Additional Information

Course Type
Grading Method
Pass/Fail Not Allowed


  • Beyond the Fracking Wars: A Guide for Lawyers, Public Officials, Planners, and Citizens - Erica Levine Powers
        ISBN: 978-1627221634   (required)
  • The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World - Russell Gold
        ISBN: 978-1451692280   (optional)
  • The Frackers: The Outrageous Inside Story of the New Billionaire Wildcatters - Gregory Zucherman
        ISBN: 978-1591847090   (optional)
  • 2013 Complete Guide to Hydraulic Fracturing (Fracking) for Shale Oil and Natural Gas: Encyclopedic Coverage of Production Issues, Protection of Drinking Water, Underground Injection Control (UIC)
      Progressive Management , edition: kindle edition


Morriss, James C III Morriss, James C III