Flirting with Disaster
By Walter M. Brasch
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Fracking Pennsylvania is a fact-based overview of the issues surrounding the natural gas industry and fracking. Although it focuses upon the Marcellus Shale, it looks at cases and issues in other parts of the country. The book is not meant to be a comprehensive analysis of the science and engineering of the process to extract natural gas nor an extensive discussion of the economic, health, environmental, and political issues. It is meant as a basic reference to acquaint people with the issues, with the hope they will dig deeper into areas that directly concern them and rally their friends and neighbors to help protect the health and environment of the people, wildlife, and natural vegetation.
Walter M. Brasch, Ph.D.,
is an award-winning syndicated social issues columnist. He is a former
newspaper and magazine reporter and editor, multimedia multi-screen
writer-producer, and retired professor of mass communications and
journalism. He is also the author of 15 other books, most of them
focusing upon the fusion of historical and contemporary social issues.
has been a social activist since the mid-1960s. Currently, he is
co-founder and vice-president of the Northeast Pennsylvania Homeless
Alliance and vice-president of the Central Susquehanna Chapter of the
“A journalistic coup in the vein of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring.” —Carolyn Howard-Johnson, HoJo News
“Informed and informative, Fracking Pennsylvania: Flirting with Disaster should be considered mandatory reading by environ-mentalists and politicians, but most especially by non-specialist general readers with an interest in protecting American ground water for the sake of the children, their grandchildren, and so many generations to come. Simply stated, Fracking Pennsylvania: Flirting with Disaster should be a core addition to all community and academic library Environmental Issues reference collections.” —Jack Mason, Midwest Book Review
[Fracking America] “is a detailed description of dollar signs tattooed on the eyelids of politicians who, thus blinded to any potential physical or economic danger, cleared the way for a huge industry to operate virtually unhampered in the so-called ‘Mar-cellus Shale play.’ Painstakingly researched and readable, it is a narrative worth reading by fracking supporters, opponents and anyone who reports on the subject. [It] is an indispensible resource for any student of energy production history or reporter of current environmental and political affairs—or anyone who wants to know more about the natural gas industry than has been exposed by either the general media or the politicians who help protect it.”
—John Messeder, Gettysburg (Pa.) Times
“This is one of the best books to really drill down into what fracking is all about, wherever you live. One really great thing is his painstaking research into the many social impacts of fracking. . . . Recommended for anyone facing fracking, and everyone concerned about this wrong-turn industry.” —Alex Smith, EcoShock Radio Network
“[This book] is woven together in a cohesive way that takes the reader through the complexities of issues surrounding shale gas drilling. If you are not alarmed and fearful while reading Brasch’s book, you are not sufficiently engaging its content. If I were teaching a course on environmental ethics, Brasch’s books would be on the reading list.” —The Rev. Leah Schade, EcoWatch
“Fracking Pennsylvania is a must read for every Pennsylvanian and anyone living in the frack zones across the world.” –Shale Shock Media
“Fracking Pennsylvania is simply the best thing on fracking I have seen. The fact that Dr. Brasch is careful in his fact-checking does not mean that he lacks aggressiveness in the pursuit of wrong-doing. On the contrary, he does not take his eye off the quarry.” —Chuck Brown, editor, Common Sense 2.
"Fracking Pennsylvania is a remarkable piece of work, and a great resource for anyone working on the issue."
--Joe Uehlein, labor/environmental activist and musician
“Fracking Pennsylvania is an indispensable book for anyone who wants to understand natural gas fracking and the environmental risks it presents. But it is the politics of fracking, of how Gov. Tom Corbett (R-Pa.) essentially sold the state to the natural gas industry for beads and trinkets (and $1.8 million in donations to his political campaigns) that will cause the greatest outrage. Walter M. Brasch has done a public service by creating a devastating and coherent account of how Texas and Oklahoma energy kingpins got their way in Pennsylvania. The gas boom has brought lower natural gas and electricity prices, but at what cost to our future?”
–DAVID DeKOK, Fire Underground: the Ongoing Tragedy of the Centralia Mine Fire; Unseen Danger: A Tragedy of People, Government, and Centralia; The Epidemic: A Collusion of Power, Privilege, and Public Health.
“Walter Brasch has presented the many complicated issues surrounding shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania in a clear, easy to understand manner without oversimplifying them. Fracking Pennsylvania is packed with information every Pennsylvanian—and everyone living in any area being drilled or likely to be drilled by the gas industry—needs to know about the environmental, public health and safety, and economic risks this dangerous practice poses.”
—Karen Feridun, founder, Berks Gas Truth
“Dr. Brasch has meticulously researched the issues behind hydraulic fracture mining (fracking) in all its complexity: geologic, environmental, social, economic and political. Shale gas being touted more and more as the greener energy of our future makes this book an essential reader for anyone who wants to safeguard their health and the environment.”
—Carol Terracina Hartman, environmental journalist
Fracking Pennsylvania in the Media
Eithne O'Leyne, Editor
BOOK NEWS, Inc.
Reference & Research Book News
Fracking is hydraulic horizontal fracturing, a process in which as much water (and such propants as silica sand and toxins) as possible are injected into fracture points in the earth's crust, to fracture the shale and extract methane, and therefore natural gas. Drillers who use fracking are popular in regions that want to make use of the technology to mine natural gas at a lower price and to provide jobs. However, fracking has proven to be unreliable and not environmentally sound, and the drilling companies have made mistakes. Brasch, currently a syndicated social issues columnist, reviews what fracking has done, particularly in Pennsylvania, but also in New York, Ohio and West Virginia, part of the Marcellus shale system. He gives historical and political aspects of fracking, including the Pennsylvania law that allowed it, and assesses the economic impact, including reviewing political campaign and related receipts. He then investigates health and environmental issues, including problems in public health, water and air pollution, diesel fuel and noise pollution, the effects upon livestock and wildlife, and wastewater removal. He includes the government's and the industry's responses, and cites examples of people pushing back on fracking.
Radio Ecoshock/ kNEW 960 AM San Francisco.Listen to the podcast here
National Talk Radio. Host Sean Prophet
Dr. Walter M. Brasch is an American professor and social issues journalist. Dr. Brasch's latest work is a 2013 publication called Fracking Pennsylvania: Flirting With Disaster. In this work, Brasch digs into the natural gas industry and extracts the truth about fracking. The author's investigation concludes that errors made by the natural gas industry have caused significant public health and environmental problems while delving into their effect on agriculture, wildlife, and livestock.
With Deana Spingola, "Spingola Speaks," Republic Network
Guest: Dr. Walter M. Brasch talks about fracking
The Michelle Jackson Show on KRXA
Walter M. Brasch author of "Fracking Pennsylvania: Flirting with Disaster" joins me to discuss Fracking and our own Monterey Shale
Diana Saavedra, marketing and promotion director for Greeley & Stone, Publishers, talks with Josh Fox, director-producer of Gasland 2 at an advance screening of the anti-fracking film in Pittsburgh, June 20. G&S is publisher of Walter Brasch's latest book, Fracking Pennsylvania.