The Fracking Debate

The Risks, Benefits, and Uncertainties of the Shale Revolution

Daniel Raimi

Columbia University Press

The Fracking Debate

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Pub Date: December 2017

ISBN: 9780231184861

280 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $30.00£24.95

Pub Date: December 2017

ISBN: 9780231545716

280 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $29.99£24.95

The Fracking Debate

The Risks, Benefits, and Uncertainties of the Shale Revolution

Daniel Raimi

Columbia University Press

Over roughly the past decade, oil and gas production in the United States has surged dramatically—thanks largely to technological advances such as high-volume hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as “fracking.” This rapid increase has generated widespread debate, with proponents touting economic and energy-security benefits and opponents highlighting the environmental and social risks of increased oil and gas production. Despite the heated debate, neither side has a monopoly on the facts. In this book, Daniel Raimi gives a balanced and accessible view of oil and gas development, clearly and thoroughly explaining the key issues surrounding the shale revolution.

The Fracking Debate directly addresses the most common questions and concerns associated with fracking: What is fracking? Does fracking pollute the water supply? Will fracking make the United States energy independent? Does fracking cause earthquakes? How is fracking regulated? Is fracking good for the economy? Coupling a deep understanding of the scholarly research with lessons from his travels to every major U.S. oil- and gas-producing region, Raimi highlights stories of the people and communities affected by the shale revolution, for better and for worse. The Fracking Debate provides the evidence and context that have so frequently been missing from the national discussion of the future of oil and gas production, offering readers the tools to make sense of this critical issue.
In this fair and unbiased book, filled with firsthand accounts and written in a gritty style appropriate for the topic at hand, Raimi explores the technology, the regulation, and the socioeconomic outcomes of shale energy development. Holistic in its range and robust in its depth, The Fracking Debate provides a nuanced but accessible understanding of the shale revolution. Thomas B. Murphy, director, Penn State Marcellus Center for Outreach and Research
Raimi’s book offers the most balanced, honest, and comprehensive account of fracking available, telling the story from all sides. Readers will appreciate the personal accounts from Raimi’s travels to far-flung oil fields coupled with in-depth yet accessible analysis of the science, regulations, and politics of the U.S. oil and gas boom. Hannah Wiseman, Florida State University College of Law
Depending on who’s saying it, ‘fracking’ signifies either a blessing or curse. In truth, it’s both. Raimi methodically explores the risks and rewards of a technical revolution that has made the United States the largest producer of oil and gas in the world once again. A thoughtful and accessible look at a highly contentious and generally misunderstood subject. Mark S. Brownstein, Environmental Defense Fund
The Fracking Debate is the most user-friendly resource on the key policy questions around hydraulic fracturing I have come across. Raimi tackles all of the hot-button topics surrounding fracking—including whether fracking contaminates water or contributes to climate change—concisely and in plain language easily accessible to lay persons. The Fracking Debate belongs on the bookshelf of every local elected official and state legislator who is grappling with hydraulic fracturing. Matthew Lepore, director, Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission
The Fracking Debate cuts through the thicket of questions and viewpoints surrounding the shale revolution with balanced evidence and insight delivered through engaging stories. It’s a refreshing ride—refreshing because you get the clear sense you are learning with the author as he seeks the truth about the shale boom. Richard Newell, president and CEO, Resources for the Future
A deft, fair analysis that clarifies the issues for both the general public and concerned policymakers. Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
2. What Is Fracking?
3. Does Fracking Contaminate Water?
4. Will Fracking Make Me Sick?
5. Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes?
6. Is There Any Regulation on Fracking?
7. Is Fracking Good or Bad for Climate Change?
8. Will Fracking Make the United States Energy Independent?
9. Is Fracking Good for the Economy?
10. Will Fracking Spread Around the World?
11. Do People Living Near Fracking Love It or Hate It?
12. What’s Next?
Notes
Index

About the Author

Daniel Raimi is a senior research associate at Resources for the Future, focusing on energy and climate issues. He teaches energy policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan and is a faculty affiliate with the University of Michigan Energy Institute.