Review: Frackopoly

Posted on August 2, 2016

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frackopoly cover

Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment
By Wenonah Hauter
The New Press
June 2016
384 pages

For the uninitiated, fracking is a process of unconventional natural gas extraction in which millions of gallons of water, tons of sand, and unknown quantities of toxic chemicals are injected from holes drilled miles underground, to fracture rock and release oil and gas.

The author Wenonah Hauter, who is the founder and executive director of Food & Water Watch, makes it clear in her introduction that Frackopoly is a treatise against fracking. From air pollution, water contamination, and public health risks caused by fracking to its serious impacts on climate change, Hauter lays out the case for banning fracking. While much of fracking’s impacts may already be familiar to the average person and certainly environmental activists, as anyone who has ever dealt with the oil & gas industry knows, the devil is in the details.

No matter what you know — or think you know — about fracking, you don’t know the history of fracking like Hauter tells it. And what a compelling story this is. Hauter takes readers on an engrossing journey through time from the 19th century to the 21st century in a thorough and well-researched chronicle of how the oil & gas industry amassed geopolitical dominance and became the most powerful and unregulated industry in the world.

Living in Colorado, “one of the most fracked states in the country” with over 53,000 active wells, I literally marinade in fracking’s impacts. I thought I knew a lot about fracking but I didn’t know the half of it. Hauter filled in loads of missing details and gaps in history for me. I often say that the oil & gas industry rules the world and they just allow the rest of us to live in it. Hauter’s Frackopoly proves my point.

Yet her message is one of hope, not discouragement. As much information as there is here to be absorbed, there are many lessons as well. At this critical point in history with climate change upon us, this book should be required reading for every human on the planet — most especially politicians. You don’t need to be an environmentalist or anti-fracking activist to learn the lessons of Frackopoly. You just need to care about the future. ~ Copyright (c) 2016 by Peggy Tibbetts

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“Frackopoly”: An Interview with Food and Water Watch’s Wenonah Hauter on Her New Book

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