The Green and the Black: The Complete Story of the Shale Revolution, the Fight over Fracking, and the Future of Energy

Gary Sernovitz. St. Martin’s, $27.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-08066-0
A much-maligned energy technology gets a thorough vetting in this sharp-eyed, wised-up primer. Sernovitz, a novelist (Great American Plain) and executive at a hydrocarbon-focused private equity firm, explores from several angles the revolution in hydraulic fracturing, aka fracking, that has unlocked huge deposits of American oil and gas. He argues that these advances will boost energy supplies and lower prices, wrestles with environmental impacts (the ballyhooed threat to groundwater, he concludes, is virtually nil, while problems with surface contamination, noise, and obnoxiousness are real but manageable), and notes that using fracked gas has substantially lowered U.S. carbon emissions. He also discusses recent collapses in both natural gas and oil prices, as well as the effect of fracking on Canadian tar sands. Sernovitz revels in the entertainment value of the fracking boom, with its manic drill-or-die entrepreneurs, dogged engineers steadily improving the art, euphoric land rushes, and frantic retreats. He has pointed opinions and a sardonic wit, but his evenhanded treatment—he discloses his own biases and stake in the industry—debunks both the hype and the panic. Sernovitz’s deep insider’s knowledge and scintillating prose make this one of the best treatments of this very contentious subject. Agent: Gillian Mackenzie, Gillian Mackenzie Agency. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016
Release date: 02/23/2016
Ebook - 978-1-4668-9257-6
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