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"Under the Surface" by Tom Wilber


Extraction:  ... 3. a. The action or process of obtaining (the constituent elements, juices, etc.) from any substance by heat, pressure, etc. (Oxford English Dictionary - available online with a NYPL library card.)

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

Some were in Pennsylvania; some in New York. Some got $25 an acre. Some got more than 200 times that. Some were happy. Others not.

Fracture, n.: ... 1. The action of breaking or fact of being broken;... (Oxford English Dictionary)

The Great Bend of the Susquehannah River, in Susquehannah County, Pennsylvania., Digital ID 478645, New York Public LibraryHow often we hear it in reference to fracking and other hydrocarbon extraction techniques: "When done correctly, it's absolutely safe." Of course if correctly includes considerations of safety this is a tautology. And if correctly doesn't seriously consider safety...? For that, I refer you to author Tom Wilber's narrative. FYI - another contender for for NYPL's Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism for 2013.

Ashokan Reservoir. Bishop's Falls, Esopus Creek, about 1/2 miles above Oliver Bridge dam site. Note horizontal strata of rock in creek bed., Digital ID 435324, New York Public Library"As she listened ... she saw the essence of the problem more clearly than ever. Industry was messing up and its supporters were taking it on blind faith that it would get things right, and they expected everybody else to believe it. It was a faith she once shared..."


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