The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World

Russell Gold, Author
Russell Gold. Simon & Schuster, $26 (384p) ISBN 978-1-4516-9228-0
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Wall Street Journal Senior Energy Reporter Gold delivers an engaging and expansive education on the promise and risks involved with the sudden rise of fracking for oil and natural gas in the United States. The use of fluids, explosives, and acids to fracture oil and gas bearing rock formations has been a regular practice for decades. The breakthrough unfolded with the discovery that enormous amounts of water mixed with sand and other chemicals could be used to fracture and release huge amounts of natural gas and petroleum from previously untapped "source rock" shale formations. While this discovery holds the potential to make the U.S. energy independent and supply fuel for the nation for decades, it also raises serious environmental concerns. Gold delivers a balanced analysis weighing the benefits (the reduced use of dirtier coal, an end to the reliance on foreign oil and foreign entanglements, and sudden and reliable abundance of energy supply) against the pitfalls (the impacts on the environment and quality of life as energy companies stampede to secure leases and rush to drill, often in populated areas). Worthy of the attention of both fracking's boosters and opponents, Gold's insightful reportage supplies a well-rounded view of a polarizing subject. Agent: David McCormick, McCormick & Williams. (Apr.)
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