June 01, 2013

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

JoAnne L. Dunec

Tom Wilber, Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fat of the Marcellus Shale, Cornell University Press, 2012.

Nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy.
—President Obama, 2012 State of the Union

A remarkable “land rush” has occurred in parts of Pennsylvania and New York as a result of innovations in hydraulic fracturing (or fracking) and vast natural gas bearing shale deposits. Extraction of natural gas from shale was generally not economically feasible until two key technological breakthroughs occurred. As described by Wilber,

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