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New ABA book on hydraulic fracturing brings legal context, explanations of key issues to debate


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New ABA book on hydraulic fracturing brings legal context, explanations of key issues to debate

By John Glynn

CHICAGO, Jan. 8, 2014 — In order to sift through the conflicting sources and rapidly changing information about hydraulic fracturing in shale oil and gas development, a new publication from the American Bar Association provides a balanced resource without the legal jargon.

“Beyond the Fracking Wars” offers thorough research on the legal, regulatory, social and technical aspects of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” and explains the numerous policy choices and decisions that influence its development and expansion.

“There are few issues as polarizing and divisive as fracking and other methods of hydrocarbon development,” said Mark B. Lapping, distinguished professor of planning and public policy for the

Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service at the University of Southern Maine. “It is hard to imagine a book that stays above the fray and yet is both comprehensive and detailed. … It will be of inestimable value to attorneys, planners and laypeople alike.”

Hannah Jacobs Wiseman, a national expert on regulatory aspects of fracturing and an assistant professor at the Florida State University College of Law, said the book “expertly captures the core issues that have accompanied the recent growth of shale gas development in the United States. … Its coverage of legal, social and technical topics from the local community to the national level provides a refreshingly detailed account of this complex resource boom.”

Bruce M. Kramer, one of the nation’s pre-eminent oil, gas, energy and land-use legal scholars and a longtime professor at the Texas Tech University School of Law, called the book a “must-read for anyone wanting to understand the competing policy choices that must be made ― especially in disputes over resource extraction and governmental regulation ― as unconventional shale oil and gas development moves forward.”

The book, edited by Erica Levine Powers and Beth E. Kinne, contains four parts: an overview of the technology of shale oil and gas development and the complex legal structure of the industry; a look at the legal issues from the federal, state and local levels; a series of case studies to provide context; and a discussion of the critical issues surrounding hydraulic fracturing, including international perspectives. Authors include former Federal Energy Regulatory Commissioner Suedeen Kelly; nationally recognized environmental advocate Lisa Wozniak; Kevin Patrick, a Colorado lawyer and expert on western water law; and Richard Liroff, a renowned expert on shareholder issues.

Whether you are a government lawyer, land owner, public official, oil and gas industry employee, interested citizen or environmental correspondent, “Beyond the Fracking Wars” is a reference for understanding the controversial subject of unconventional oil and gas development and its implications for state and local governments.

Title:                “Beyond the Fracking Wars: A Guide for Lawyers,
Public Officials, Planners, and Citizens”
Publisher:        ABA Section of State and Local Government Law
Pages:              350
Product Code:  5330228
ISBN:               978-1-62722-163-4
Size:                6x9
Price:               $119.95
Orders: 800-285-2221 or

Editor’s note: Review copies are available by sending an email to Laura Vecchia at If you publish a review of this book, please send tear sheets or a copy for our files to Laura Vecchia, American Bar Association, Book Publishing, 321 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews

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