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Alternative Market Briefing

The Frackers offers a glimpse into the personalities behind America's controversial energy boom

Monday, December 16, 2013

amb
Gregory Zuckerman
Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York:

Proponents of fracking and the 'drill baby drill' route to US energy independence have reason to feel pretty self-assured. The US is now slated to be nearly energy independent thanks to new technologies like fracking. This success is further underlined by the US foreign policy pivot to Asia and away from the Middle East. A new book from Gregory Zuckerman entitled The Frackers, profiles the men who first figured out how to leverage fracking, spawning an energy revolution and making themselves billionaires in the process.

The five men, Harold Hamm; Aubrey McClendon; George Mitchell; Mark Papa, and Tom Ward, were largely unknown before their work and will now go down in history as the group who started it all. The book offers up in-depth portraits of their background and personalities. The profiles border on glorification, but Zuckerman tells Opalesque that not everyone in the group has been pleased with how things turned out.

That feeling may also come to readers of the book, especially those against fracking. In addition to the cast of characters that surround this industry, Zuckerman offers an overview on the technology and the once sleepy towns that now find themselves booming. Yet, little is said about the potential ramifications of fracking for either those towns or the environment.

"There are people who are going to see these men as absolute heros, and it's clear that they’ve moved the US to ener......................

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