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

Overview

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 of natural gas, a resource that has been dismissed as inaccessible—until recently. Technological developments that combine horizontal drilling ...

See more details below
Hardcover
$20.45
BN.com price
(Save 26%)$27.95 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (16) from $7.49   
  • New (8) from $17.60   
  • Used (8) from $7.49   
Under the Surface: Fracking, Fortunes, and the Fate of the Marcellus Shale

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$15.49
BN.com price
(Save 44%)$27.95 List Price

Overview

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 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.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Few ecological concerns are so controversial as hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” the process by which chemicals are pumped deep into the earth to retrieve natural gas from buried shale deposits. Across Pennsylvania, Ohio, and New York, pro- and anti-fracking forces are marshaling their constituencies for a showdown. Opponents argue that the process will ruin major water supplies, while advocates see huge resources of energy and the prospect of dazzling wealth. Wilbur, a former environmental reporter who has been covering the fracking debate from the beginning, combines a storyteller’s ear with a journalist’s eye, offering a sensitive and especially timely take on the issue. Here, the villains that emerge include the landmen, buyers of mineral rights who show up on doorsteps throughout the region offering tempting buyouts, while for heroes, we are introduced to neighbors, such as Victoria Switzer and Ken Ely, two very different people thrown together in the fight to save their homes, and others who took the money offered by the developers and moved on. In the most inspiring passages, Wilbur tells how the residents of New York’s Southern Tier and Pennsylvania’s Endless Mountains, organized, fought, and participated in countless meetings and government hearings to determine the future of their homes and land. This book will be essential background reading for the still-unfolding fracking drama. (May)
From the Publisher

"Tom Wilber's new book reads like a character-driven novel as it tells the stories of the winners and losers, industry leaders and regulators on the new frontier of shale gas. . . . Wilber doesn't push an agenda but tries to maintain a journalist's objectivity and attention to detail from all angles."—Associated Press

"If you're new to the fracking debate, and even if you have a strong working knowledge of this issue, you will come away having learned something new. Wilber provides a thoughtful, and carefully researched, look at the upsides, as well as the potentially catastrophic downsides, of the impact this new form of gas drilling could have on one of the world’s most pristine watersheds."—Chronogram Magazine

"With a journalist's command of the facts and a novelist's eye for his subjects, Tom Wilber takes us to the living rooms, farms, meeting halls, and mountain streams where the fracking drama plays out daily. This is the grimy side of the American Dream, twenty-first century style—the economy vs. the environment, energy vs. water, human vs. corporation. Wilber spent more than three years researching and writing this book. His ease of storytelling, language, and explanation are a welcome guide through a complex topic. Alongside the land rush, gold rush, railroad boom, and oil boom, Under the Surface is an essential chapter in an American story that too often pits homestead and community against the building of the nation."—John Cronin, senior fellow at Pace and Clarkson Universities, former Hudson Riverkeeper, and coauthor of The Riverkeepers

Library Journal
Central New York journalist Wilber tells the story of a permanent geological scar caused by the search and extraction of natural gas from the Marcellus Shale that underpins the mountains from central New York State through West Virginia. With an anthropologist's and a storyteller's eye, Wilber describes the human and geologic drama along the New York/Pennsylvania border and its effects on people, land, water, air, politics, and economies. The narrative revolves around the area's geologic history, mineral and property rights, corporate actions, government regulations (or lack thereof), human and environmental health issues, social networks, and economic realities. VERDICT The cast of advance men, scientists, cheerleaders, locals, corporate CEOs, accidental activists, politicians, and bureaucrats step off the page to meet readers. The interplay of their words and actions tells the often sad but sometimes positive story of people and politics in a world that demands ever-increasing amounts of energy. Recommended to all readers curious about the backstory of an important, ongoing public drama.—Linda Loos Scarth, formerly with Mount Mercy Coll. Lib., Cedar Rapids, IA
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801450167
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press
  • Publication date: 5/8/2012
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 253,945
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Tom Wilber, a journalist, author, and teacher, has spent years interviewing key players and local residents on all sides of the controversial issue of developing the country's energy supplies through the controversial process of high-volume hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." He worked as a reporter covering business, health, and environmental issues for Gannett Corporation's Central New York Newspaper Group (including the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin) for seventeen years. He is now a freelance journalist and blogger for Shale Gas Review, tomwilber.blogspot.com.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Prologue: Cracks in the Rock 1

1 An Agent of Dreams 9

2 Coming Together 30

3 Gas Rush 70

4 Figures, Facts, and Information 93

5 Accidental Activists 129

6 The Division 165

7 Superior Forces 205

Epilogue: Back on Carter Road 223

Note to Readers 229

List of Figures and Maps 233

Notes 235

Index 263

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)