The Fracking Boom and
the US and California Economies

Panel At Fracking EventOn October 15, FWSF hosted a panel on the topic of the US fracking boom and California’s energy outlook. It was held at Bloomberg West on Pier 3, in a beautiful event space with a stunning view of the Bay. Our panelists represented very different market segments providing a broad perspective on the topic. Greta Lydecker, who runs Chevron’s California production and is a geologist by training, described shale and fracking in very understandable terms. Catherine Wolfram, co-director of the Energy Institute at UC Berkeley Haas has an expertise in global energy markets while our third panelist, Cynthia Ringo, a partner at DBL Investors is one of the very few women venture capitalists specializing in alternative energy investments. Meredith Annex, Bloomberg natural gas analyst and the panel moderator led the discussion with her deep knowledge of the sector.

We learned, much to everyone’s surprise, that the California gasoline market is third worldwide after China and the United States. California gasoline is a special mix, required by law to meet air quality standards and it is produced here as well. After a discussion of the state of alternative fuels, and the technical challenges of storing energy captured through solar, Greta reminded the audience of the enormous scale of the state’s energy needs. She also explained why the geology in California, with its many earthquakes, doesn’t produce shale suitable for fracking.

All attendees left the program with a new appreciation for the complexities of the energy sector and for the significant role California plays both in consuming and developing all forms of fuel.

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