University of Pittsburgh
March 12, 2015

Managing Risks in the Shale Industry: A Global Perspective

Pitt hosts free conference with energy policy experts from five continents

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—Deriving benefits from shale gas resources while minimizing the industry’s health and environmental footprint is an issue faced not only in Western Pennsylvania. Governments, industry, regulators, and communities around the globe are grappling with the same challenge. 

To exchange information on public policies governing shale gas development in different parts of the world, experts from Europe, China, Argentina, South Africa, and the United States will convene March 18-19 for a public conference titled "Managing Risks in the Shale Industry: A Comparison of Policies Worldwide." Hosted by the University of Pittsburgh, the conference will take place in the Schenley Room of the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, 4215 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Participation is free; registration is required

Professor Shanti Gamper-Rabindran of Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Department of Economics in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences is the conference’s scientific organizer. “Risk management in the shale industry here in the United States has improved, thanks to robust scientific analyses, society's scrutiny of firms, regulators and politicians, and informed public debate," she said. "But we can learn from other countries in the areas where our policies need more work, such as the lack of publicly accessible data on the industry's operations and impact."

Conference speakers will share information on state capacities and public policies aimed at reducing risks in the energy and other sectors, both in the United States and other countries. Representatives from France and Germany will discuss how those countries have opted to limit shale development, and the outcomes of that decision. Other topics include wastewater management and understanding the industry's health risks and environmental impact. 

In addition to Gamper-Rabindran, Pitt faculty members who will present at the conference are: 

  • Ariel Armony, director, University Center for International Studies and senior director of International Programs;
  • Minking Chyu, dean of the Sichuan University-Pittsburgh Institute and associate dean of International Initiatives, Swanson School of Engineering;
  • Bernard Goldstein, professor emeritus of Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health; and 
  • Radisav Vidic, chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Swanson School of Engineering. 

The full program schedule is available at

The main conference sponsor is Pitt's Center for Russian and East European Studies, part of the University Center for International Studies.