The Boom

The Boom

How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World

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Russell Gold, a brilliant and dogged investigative reporter at The Wall Street Journal, has spent more than a decade reporting on one of the biggest stories of our time: the spectacular, world-changing rise of “fracking.” Recognized as a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a recipient of the Gerald Loeb Award for his work, Gold has traveled along the pipelines and into the hubs of this country’s energy infrastructure; he has visited frack sites from Texas to North Dakota; and he has conducted thousands of interviews with engineers and wildcatters, CEOs and roughnecks, environmentalists and politicians. He has also sifted through reams of engineering reports, lawsuit transcripts, and financial filings. The result is an essential book—a commanding piece of journalism, an astounding study of human ingenuity, and an epic work of storytelling.

Fracking has vociferous critics and fervent defenders, but the debate between these camps has obscured the actual story: Fracking has become a fixture of the American landscape and the global economy. It has upended the business models of energy companies around the globe, and it has started to change geopolitics and global energy markets in profound ways. Gold tells the story of this once-obscure oilfield technology—a story with an incredible cast of tycoons and geologists, dreamers and drillers, speculators and skeptics, a story that answers a critical question of our time: Where will the energy come from to power our world—and what price will we have to pay for it?
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451692280 | 
  • April 2014
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To Frack or Not To Frack: Russell Gold

Award-winning journalist, Russell Gold explains how fracking is igniting the American energy revolution and changing the world.

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Read an Excerpt

The Boom 1

JUST ADD WATER
A few years ago, my parents faced an unexpected choice.

Chesapeake Energy called them with an offer. The company wanted to drill for natural gas underneath 102 acres of land they owned with some friends in north central Pennsylvania. Would they be interested in signing a lease? The offer was $400,000 up front, plus royalties on any gas unearthed from the ground. It was an astounding amount of money for terrain... see more

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