The leading controversy around here the past few years has been fracking. It is a highly emotional issue for residents who see it as destroying both their property values and way of life. Natural gas companies see it as an economic boon, and farmers see it as a way to produce badly needed income on their land. It’s one of those issues that are so emotionally charged that rational debate is often impossible.
In our little corner of the world it appears that fracking will not happen (at least based on what some anti-fracking people with knowledge of the process are saying). However, it is still an ongoing controversy nationally and one that isn’t going to disappear. When we are in a situation where shale oil and natural gas is in abundance and we would love to be independent of the Middle East for oil the subject of fracking will always be front and center. It doesn’t hurt to know something about it.
The library has just purchased a book that tries to bring sanity to the discussion. “Hydrofracking: What Everyone Needs to Know” was written by Alex Prud’Homme, and he tries to take a neutral stance in bringing up the pros and cons of the whole industry. It’s an excellent primer for the entire debate.
Let’s face it. For the typical lay person terms such as “BTUs,” “tar sands,” “shale oil” and “gelling agent” might as well be in a foreign language. We either see fracking as a job producer or an environment destroyer without understanding the technical jargon. Prud’Homme tries to cut through all the complex terminology and doomsday scenarios that both sides of the debate use in order to give an unbiased view of what fracking is all about.