The following letter explaining the choice of The Boom was printed in today’s Centre Daily Times. I am copying it in its entirety here.*
We were pleased to see Anthony Zarzycki’s interest in Penn State Reads (“Book Creates Conflict of Interest,” CDT, 9/1). “The Boom” raises important questions about energy and the power needed to fuel the world. Penn State faculty, staff and students have different perspectives on this issue, and they live in communities directly impacted by the choices made about energy.
Goals of the Penn State Reads program include providing a shared experience for first-year students, encouraging intellectual engagement, stimulating critical thinking and fostering deeper connections to Penn State. Books are selected based on broad input from across the university community.
Russell Gold, the book’s author, is an award-winning journalist for The Wall Street Journal. Gold follows The Wall Street Journal’s ethics guidelines, which means that he never accepted a paid trip or anything of value from the natural gas or fracking industries. He also confirmed with us via email that he does not own (in whole or in part) the land or mineral rights subject to his family’s legal agreements with Chesapeake Energy, nor has he received money from fracking operations on this land.
We do not believe that there is a conflict of interest.
Please read the book and join in our discussions. Mr. Gold will be visiting Penn State Oct. 12 – 14, and he will be giving a public talk at the Days Inn on Oct. 13th at 7:30 p.m.
BARRY BRAM AND JACQUELINE EDMONDSON
*Jacqueline Edmondson was the co-chair of my dissertation committee.