Fracking's Impact on the American Landscape

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What is the cost of America's thirst for energy?  Richard Manning, a writer based in Montana, has been reporting on the impact of accelerated efforts to bring oil and gas out from the shale rock formations in Bakken, North Dakota. His article "Bakken Business: The price of North Dakota’s fracking boom," which appears in the March issue of Harper’s Magazine, chronicles the impact of fracking on the community.

Fracking has worked miracles in the west, but are we back to a form of wildcatting for oil and gas — a boom time with no rules?

Lisa Margonelli is a contributing writer at Pacific Standard. In her recent piece for the magazine, she argues that current debate about fracking fails to consider how to protect and local communities.


Richard Manning and Lisa Margonelli

Produced by:

Mythili Rao

Comments [3]

Karla Fisk from New York, NY

John Hockenberry, please see the truthful economic analysis contained in Deborah Roger's report in

We actually have only a maximum of 25 years of shale gas & oil in the U.S. shale formations. (see linked article below, and reports it cites.)

Is it worth spending billions of $$$ on infrastructure (pipelines, compressor stations, export terminals), plus the opportunity costs of not building out renewable energy as fast as possible, PLUS all the externalized costs that are landing on communities (including health care costs due to rise in cancer rates, neurological damage, increased asthma, exposure to radioactive materials from the shale (barium & radium in the Marcellus Shale).

This is shell game that only benefits the shale gas & oil industry. Please see:

Mar. 12 2013 07:22 PM
Joanna Underwood from new york city

While New York State is focused on fighting over fracking, you should know that there is another way to get natural gas! And we can pursue it NOW. It is a renewable form of natural gas that is made, not by drilling, but by processing the mountains of organic wastes generated in the state: by NY communities, businesses, food processors and agricultural operations. This fuel is just like fossil gas but better. Not only does it not involve drilling, but it is almost free of all soot, and it is the lowest carbon fuel in the country that is commercially available. Since we are also worried about climate change, producing renewable natural gas and using it as a vehicle fuel in our bus and truck fleets to clean up urban air is a no brainer!

Mar. 12 2013 04:04 PM
Larry Fisher from Brooklyn, N.Y.

If we will be the largest oil producers in a decade, does that mean we will have frickin' Oil Sheiks? and can we expect a movie called "Let There Be Fricking,?" I mean Fracking.

Mar. 12 2013 11:04 AM

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