April 12, 2015: Fracking for Hydrocarbons in North Carolina
2:00 pm First Presbyterian Church. Dr. Kenneth B. Taylor, State Geologist of North Carolina and Dr. Avner Vengosh, Professor of Geochemistry and Water Resources, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University.

rsz_frackingexHydraulic fracturing, or fracking, was introduced into the petroleum industry in the 1940s to improve flow of hydrocarbons into the bore hole from productive strata. Employing that technology and increasing the number of wells on shore and offshore combined to increase oil production to a peak of approximately 10 million barrels per day in 1972; a steady decline began in 2008. Applying new technology, horizontal drilling, to the old technologies, fracking has caused domestic oil production to climb approximately 60% from the 2008 low to 8 million barrels per day in 2013. At the same time, natural dry gas production increased approximately 20%. Large quantities of fluid are required when fracking horizontally. The volumes of fluids injected is suspected of leading to small earthquakes, and the additives (commonly trade secrets) are the source of societal concern about safety of the environment and human health. Drs. Taylor and Vengosh will provide a factual understanding of this contentious issue.

October 25, 2015: Reason, Morality and the Death Penalty
2:00 pm First Presbyterian Church. Michael Tigar, legendary defense attorney and Professor Emeritus, Duke Law School and American University Washington College of Law.

rsz_1tigar-hi-res_cx1“Michael Tigar was a legend in legal circles at age 26, well before he would take on some of the highest-profile cases of his generation” (The Washington Post). Mr. Tigar represented the likes of Angela Davis and the Chicago Seven, John Connally, Kay Bailey Hutchison, John Demjanjuk, and Terry Nichols. Tigar ranked behind only Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Darrow in the California Attorneys for Criminal Justice “Lawyer of the Century” balloting. He has argued 7 cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court and more than 100 appellate cases. “A brilliant speaker — funny and engaging.”

All Rothermel events are free and open to the public.

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