Read Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale by Tom Wilber Online


Running from southern West Virginia through eastern Ohio, across central and northeast Pennsylvania, and into New York through the Southern Tier and the Catskills, the Marcellus Shale formation underlies a sparsely populated region that features striking landscapes, critical watersheds, and a struggling economic base. It also contains one of the world's largest supplies ofRunning from southern West Virginia through eastern Ohio, across central and northeast Pennsylvania, and into New York through the Southern Tier and the Catskills, the Marcellus Shale formation underlies a sparsely populated region that features striking landscapes, critical watersheds, and a struggling economic base. It also contains one of the world's largest supplies of natural gas, a resource that has been dismissed as inaccessible until recently. Technological developments that combine horizontal drilling with hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") have removed physical and economic barriers to extracting hundreds of trillions of cubic feet of gas from bedrock deep below the Appalachian basin. Beginning in 2006, the first successful Marcellus gas wells by Range Resources, combined with a spike in the value of natural gas, spurred a modern-day gold rush a "gas rush" with profound ramifications for environmental policy, energy markets, political dynamics, and the lives of the people living in the Marcellus region. Under the Surface is the first book-length journalistic overview of shale gas development and the controversies surrounding it.Control over drilling rights is at stake in the heart of Marcellus country northeast Pennsylvania and central New York. The decisions by landowners to work with or against the companies and the resulting environmental and economic consequences are scrutinized by neighbors faced with similar decisions, by residents of cities whose water supply originates in the exploration area, and by those living across state lines with differing attitudes and policies concerning extraction industries. Wilber's evenhanded treatment gives a voice to all constituencies, including farmers and landowners tempted by the prospects of wealth but wary of the consequences, policymakers struggling with divisive issues, and activists coordinating campaigns based on their respective visions of economic salvation and environmental ruin. Wilber describes a landscape in which the battle over the Marcellus ranges from the very local yard signs proclaiming landowners' allegiances for or against shale gas development to often conflicting municipal, state, and federal legislation intended to accelerate, delay, or discourage exploration.For millions of people with a direct stake in shale gas exploration in the Marcellus or any number of other emerging shale resources in the United States and worldwide, or for those concerned about the global energy outlook, Under the Surface offers a worthwhile and engaging look at the issues....

Title : Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780801450167
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale Reviews

  • Rdonn
    2019-02-23 04:48

    Again, I read this for bookclub, a group of women very involved with environmental issues, and as we live in the heart of the Marcellus Shale gas industry, are very concerned about the problems associated with this industry. Much in the book was familiar as I have listened to forums, local and otherwise, and watched tv and movies about fracking. I see as the destruction of our beautiful part of Pennsylvania every day. I think it was a fairly objectiv book, though it definitely emphasized the problems of water, land and forest destruction. I learned some nefarious moves of the gas industry to squelch all opposition, and the politicians enamored with the big money involved. Our government has not served us well. I thought it very worth reading, and have been told it's the best of the books written on this subject.

  • Ann
    2019-03-05 02:37

    A dense, well-documented account of drilling in the Marcellus Shale. Wilber's strength is that he tells the recent history of drilling/fracking in the Marcellus by looking at the Southern Tier of New York State (where fracking is still under review by the NYS government) and North Eastern Pennsylvania, particularly Dimock. Because Pennsylvania has embrace fracking and there are few regulations (or enforceable regulations), Wilber is able to give a compelling journalist account of the water contamination in Dimock (caused by fracking) and the efforts of New York to regulate or reject fracking. It's crucial reading if you're approached about signing a gas lease or if you live in a community that is considering fracking.

  • Dan
    2019-03-18 01:37

    This book was a fairly objective portrayal of the recent gas rush. i enjoyed it for the information provided. The writing was a bit thick and the timeline a bit screwy. Overall I would recommend it to someone interested in the topic but someone uninterested in environmental issues would probably lose interest. very insightful!

  • Jennifer
    2019-02-21 01:00

    Being considered for the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism

  • Stefanie
    2019-03-21 01:02

    The geopolitics of fossil fuels (or hydrocarbons as they are sometimes called) often takes place in or is intimately entwined with the Middle East - now enter the Marcellus Shale region and watch the dynamics of economics, politics, conservation and day-to-day human needs and desires play out in Pennsylvania and New York states. Wilber's book chronicles the evolution of the shale 'find' and the ability of companies to utilise technologies such as hydraulic fracturing (referred to as 'fracking') to help the US secure its desire for oil independence. The period covers roughly 1999 to 2011 which saw Wilber, a journalist from the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin, spend considerable time learning about the Marcellus find and its consequences for locals. His book deserves credit for seeking to understand and depict the differing, and strongly contested, views about fracking. In particular, he provides useful insights into the opportunities and challenges of local politics which communities in the US and elsewhere should heed. His book would be a welcome read for those studying policy as well as those concerned about protecting their rights as land owners. There are also very useful sections detailing the impacts of fracking and associated mining activities which will be of value to anyone whose government or local/national industry is heralding as safe. There are always consequences to mineral exploitation - the real question is whether one is prepared to accept those consequences. A worthwhile read for anyone interested in the current shale mining industry, fracking or the complex politics of local, state and national politics.

  • Michael
    2019-03-18 06:03

    I picked up this book from my library as I was borrowing another. Prior to reading this book I knew nothing about the Marcellus Shale fracking issues except that it was controversial. After reading this book, I am aware of the issues but I would still say that I don't have an informed opinion. Wilber did a great job chronicling the fracking industry as it pertained to New York and Pennsylvania. His story tracks several families and their plight against Cabot and other large oil & gas exploration companies.I found the narrative too anecdotal and too slanted towards the liberal side. Of course I'm concerned about the water rights, pollution, etc. But I would have liked to know if towns and counties were economically boosted by the sudden influx of royalty payments and jobs. If towns were boosted, it was glossed over.The book was dense with names, spill events, reports of poor record-keeping, and sad stories of "the man" getting you down. Unfortunately, I don't know of a better book to read to learn about fracking.P.S.

  • Jadie
    2019-03-02 23:41

    Under the Surface is your best bet at learning as much as you can about the Marcellus shale gas development of the past decade in ~220 pages, from everything you wanted to know, to everything you didn't, to things you didn't even imagine you would have wanted or not wanted to know.Wilber's sources and experiences are comprehensive and come from both advocates and opponents of the natural gas industry. He weaves these all together to paint a picture of what the state of "energy independence development" looks like in the Northeast, and likely in other places where hydraulic fracturing has been put into effect (the West, the South, and coming to a community near you). In many ways, he leaves it to you to form an opinion on the controversial issue, and he doesn't leave out one thing when it comes to depicting the idea of wealth beyond comprehension that landowners were offered or the suffering at the exploitative hands of the industry, whether that means lack of access to clean water, home air contamination, or even exploding houses and wells.

  • Sam
    2019-03-19 04:41

    An edifying look into the issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania and New York. Wilbur provides insights into the under-the-radar development of the unconventional drilling boom in Pennsylvania and the corresponding moratorium in New York. He presents both sides of the issue, from landowners and activists concerned about drinking water, to industrial advocates interested in the large sums of money to be gained by natural gas drilling, in addition to the simmering academic debate on the facts. Fracking began silently, but it is already changing the face of communities across the nation. Under the Surface offers a through introduction to this controversial issue.

  • Mike W
    2019-03-12 00:34

    Very interesting, well written book. Keep in mind, this is a non-fiction. Some of the book gets a little technical, but I think must in order to describe the fracking process required to smash the natural gas out of the shale.The progression of the interest in the Marcellus Shale by exploration firms is fascinating, as is the impact on the landowners.The book is mostly balanced, although I think it tips slightly toward the environmentalist and individual rights side, and away from Big Business.A worthwhile read, as the Marcellus shale will be up there with the West Cost gold rush and the Texas (and PA for that matter) oil boom.

  • Michael
    2019-03-08 01:35

    This was a very informative book, not just from the aspect of how fracking works, but from how people are affected by fracking, and whether or not this method is worth looking into as a way to obtain natural gas. I wish I could give it 4 stars, but I read this book right after a very "fun" book (Arnold's biography) so I was not in the right mood for this book. Don't let my review stop you from reading this book, if you want to know more about fracking read this book!

  • Krista Stevens
    2019-03-09 01:48

    As the fracking battles heats up, this book gives a lot of the background of what, how, when, etc. My family comes from Ridgway, PA and some worked in the mines. I've done some hiking up in Elk County, so I'm following this debate. This is so detailed that at some points, it was almost too dense - however, it's very thorough.

  • victor harris
    2019-03-06 05:35

    A great deal of technical reading but very informative. If you weren't opposed to fracking before reading this book, you will be when you are done. It is another case of rapacious corporations following the profit god without any regard for the environment or people.

  • Loy
    2019-02-21 04:51

    Very good book in that it reports on the facts, presents all sides, and allows the reader to draw his/her own conclusion. While some of the writing is unnecessarily complex and tortuous, it's well worth the read.

  • Brittany Anne
    2019-03-23 03:38

    Wilber delivers both academic and political information with a journalist's approach, making the web of technology and political relationships behind Marcellus Shale development digestible for any interested reader.

  • Mary Cronk
    2019-02-21 07:39

    excellent book on the current status of hydraulic fracking in NY and PA. The author is a former journalist who decided to write a book on a topic he was reporting about.

  • Jim Noyes
    2019-03-22 01:35

    Excellent and scarily true

  • Mary Beth
    2019-03-10 07:37

    fairly well balanced portrayal. Any book suggestions that portray favorable fracking,beyond the bottom line?

  • Alan Thomas
    2019-03-02 07:35

    I well researched story of the gas boom.

  • Karen
    2019-02-21 02:01

    An important issue that all Michiganders should know about.