The Fracking Truth: Chris Faulkner
Understanding the energy revolution has always created much controversy and discussion among politicians, those in the industry and people in general. This revolution takes place everyday here in our own country. Author Chris Faulkner’s book “The Fracking Truth—America’s Energy Revolution: the Inside Story, Untold Story,” explains not only how fracking works, defining the word in terms that everyone can understand but to show that something is not true such as a belief or specific theory. Within this book he dispels many of the myths that environmentalists have spouted about and their cohorts in the government.
The author and I quote: hopes to explain in this book “ the revolution that’s taking place in our own backyards-fracking- and is spreading around the globe. Speaking around the globe or world to many in different industries and government groups is goal is to speak about the fracking phenomenon. He hopes to impart information about how we have discovered or unlocked “ enormous new sources of energy under our feet.” He states that we have made huge strides in both conservation and technology. In his words: The revolution has already begun. His main goal is to enlighten readers to understand that “ the fracking revolution has teed up America to solve this problem with less risk and at greater gain than any in our economy.”
The introduction provides a detailed list and outline of what the author wants readers to learn. Chapter 1 focuses on America’s Energy Challenges with coal have a primary point for this discussion. “ Coal overtook wood as a primary energy source at the start of the Industrial Revolution. Its low cost and easy transportation had a lot to do to help bring forth and emerge our industry. The author goes into detail within the chapter but first he includes that no energy source has so “typified America as has petroleum.” Stating that the oil industry began in this country with a relentless and rapid growth coming together or hand in hand with another American born industry-automobiles. The remainder of this section focuses on oil, the oil spills and America’s New Energy Challenges in Global Context. In the section Peak Oil and Chicken Little he includes graphs, charts, and figures to elaborate on the information making it come to life for readers. The final discussion in this chapter focuses once again on Coal and how it began to lose favor. On page 30 the author includes a chart entitled: Coal-fired Generating Unit Retirements. Another Electricity Generation from Natural Gas and Coal. Chapter 2 focuses on America’s Oil and Gas Bounty but I am going to move ahead to the chapter that excited me the most: Chapter 3: Fracking: What It is and Isn’t beginning with what it is not.
Okay: let’s dispel anything you might have heard or thought: FRACKING IS NOT A DRILLING PROCESS! The author defines hydraulic fracturing does not take place until “after drilling has concluded.” In this book the author states that these resources will provide less than 10 percent of our energy in the future. Hydraulic fracturing has sky rocketed and within chapter 2 he discusses oil, gas and shale to drive home his point. On page 52 the chart explains it all. The timeline on page 58 relates the History of Fracking and Horizonal Drilling from the 1940’s. The timeline is self explanatory and quite detailed. However, when defining fracking the author does not use the word complete he used concluded. “ A completion is a separate process that typically isn’t part of the drilling process. Fracking in simple terms he states is just another type of well completion process but is very expensive and complicated kind of completion. He continues with discussing Horizontal Drilling and includes detailed charts on pages 63- 65. The exciting part is learning about the Fracking Process on pages 66- 69.
There are many myths attached to fracking that the author relates on Chapter 4. He introduces a man named George Mitchell who believed beyond a shadow of doubt in the potential of the Barnes Shale, as vast shale formation underlying much of the “Dallas-Fort Wroth Metropolitan area in the Forth Worth Basin in North Central Texas.” Using water, sand and trace chemicals to read beneath the surface of the ground in order to get to the natural gas, oil and other elements are defines fracking. Some state that it will pollute our groundwater and the process is unsafe leading to toxic chemicals and possibly releasing dangerous gases into our atmosphere or air thinking it might have some impact on global climate change. Author Chris Faulkner feels that this process is vital to America’s future energy resources primary oil and natural gas. But, will this lead us to becoming more energy independent? Is this really safe even questioning many questions asked and their truth by referring to the movie Gasland and pointing out its errors or flaws.
Within chapter four the author elaborates how Mitchell persisted with his fracking experiments and even after he sold the company Devon Energy continued what Mitchell started. But, according to the author, and he claims this might create some controversy among his colleagues that Mitchell had some help namely the US government played a role in the R&D that helped further the great shale fracking breakthrough. The remainder of the chapter discusses this and federal efforts to research ways to boost America’s natural gas production by targeting “unconventional gas resources that go back to the 1970’s. The chapter continues with The Fracking Environmentalist and elaborates about Hollywood and the Misinformation Machine. The charts on pages 87-88 provide a wealth of information.
The book is quite detailed and the relates in the final chapters about the Revolution: America and rebuilding reserves, growing production and the booms economic benefits. The charts are detailed helping readers understand the information presented and forming their own conclusions. The issues that are the focal point within this book relate to America’s energy challenges, different alternatives to sources of energy. He discusses oil and gas and dirty little secrets about renewable energy resources. He talks about what fracking is and is not, which I found really quite interesting. He relates the myths behind the process, secrets, charts and states many times that we will never run out of oil and gas. The final two chapters focus on A World Hungry for Oil and Gas which includes a detailed chart on page 122 titled: World Energy Consumption by Fuel Type. A bar graph titled World Natural Gas Consumption 2010-2040, Change in World Liquids Consumption by region from 2010 to 2040. He concludes Chapter 6 with a discussion of Global Shale Resources and dilemmas other countries face. The final 2 chapters will enlighten readers on Climate Change and Precautionary Principles for Humans Too.
It is not something new or uncommon. “It is believed that the first frack job was in the 1940’s in Kansas in 1947.” With a highly volatile industry that is watched closely in every aspect of it, we as the press does must sort out fact from fiction. The book is well written, detailed and arguments are presented clearly on both sides. The fracking revolution is strong and has caught on fast by everyone including those in the oil and gas industry. This is a great opportunity for working with the environmental movement. The author states that as an industry we have done a not so great job explaining how things are done. Read this book to learn more.
Fran Lewis: reviewer