Headlined by David Hayes, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, and Gov. John Hickenlooper, the 2012 Colorado State University Natural Gas Symposium was held Oct. 1 – 3, 2012. The symposium explored the complexities of the natural gas economy and its impacts in Colorado, the West, and around the globe.Additional participants included former Gov. Bill Ritter, who now directs CSU’s Center for the New Energy Economy, Bryan Willson, director of CSU’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory and Diana Wall, director of the School of Global Environmental Sustainability.Pre-symposium activities on Monday, Oct. 1 focused on “Natural Gas 101,” a day of one-hour seminars designed to provide participants with a broad overview of the science and engineering behind natural gas development, extraction, distribution, and emissions. Topics included the geology of natural gas, drilling and completion, processing and distribution, the role of water in hydraulic fracturing and other processes, and the supply outlook.

Day two focused on the need for natural gas, current challenges and uses, and international implications. The day featured a mix of keynote speakers and panel sessions featuring a diverse mix of academic, industry, and environmental experts talking about such topics as community impact.

The final day of the symposium examined responsible, environmentally sound solutions to natural gas development. Keynotes and panel sessions were intermixed with working group visioning workshops. The day featured a discussion on a successful partnership between the Southern Ute Tribe and BP in LaPlata County, Colo.