The talk, entitled ”The West Beneath the Surface: Natural Gas Development in the Big Picture of Western Extractive Industries,” pursues the goal of placing current controversies over natural gas development (and especially the technique of hydraulic fracturing) in the larger historical context of Western extractive industries. A good share of the region’s communities came into existence in response to the jobs and opportunities presented by the extraction of natural resources. In contrast to these earlier circumstances, in which the industry more or less preceded the town and even provided the occasion for its founding, current arrangements reverse the sequence, with the extractive industry of natural gas development now appearing as a force invading small towns and suburbs. This talk will compare those two eras, exploring the possibility that looking at the long history of human settlement in proximity to extractive industries could give us a better perspective on this heated topic today.
The Hartman Hotz Lectures Series was established by Dr. and Mrs. Palmer Hotz of Foster City, California to honor the memory of his brother, Hartman Hotz. Hartman Hotz graduated from the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences with a degree in history. After graduating from Yale University Law School, he joined the faculty of the University of Arkansas School of Law where he made significant contributions to the study of law. The presentation series is sponsored by the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Law. It supports the discussion of challenging social and intellectual issues of the day on the Fayetteville campus. Many distinguished speakers have participated in this lecture series, among them are public figures such as Chief Justice Warren Burger, Lord Robin Butler, and former Senator George McGovern.