Skip to main content

Famed journalist and grand nephew of Julie Child, Alex Prud'homme will be giving a lecture about his new book, "Hydrofracking:  What Everyone Needs to Know" on Monday evening (November 4th) at the University of Chicago's International House from 6-8PM.  The event is free and open to the public.  It is part of the International  House's Global Author Night program.

The talk is timely for Illinois residents.  The state has been embattled in a debate over the recent "regulated" fracking bill which passed in May as opposed to the moratorium bill that many environmentalists have been pushing for over two years.  In fact, another Daily Kos diarist wrote about this issue a couple of days ago.  Environmentalists argue that the regulatory bill will not protect residents and is not fair to taxpayers as it was written, in part, by the fracking companies and their lobbyists.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, a Democrat who is currently running for re-election in 2014, has not been able to avoid the conflict.  The fracking issue has enraged many, would be supporters.  In a 10/7/2013 article in the Midwest Energy News, Will Reynolds explains:

A massive new assault on the environment

Quinn’s most controversial action on energy is to enthusiastically launch the Illinois fracking industry, which will become one of the most expansive assaults on the environment in state history. Quinn brags that his fracking rules will create jobs while protecting the environment. But, even groups who supported the bill admit it’s inadequate. Residents will now be subjected to a massive science experiment as we wait for more proof that fracking can’t be safely regulated in a region prone to flooding and earthquakes.

Quinn had other options. As Governor, he could have supported a moratorium and pledged to veto anything else. He could have asked his staff to craft stronger regulations with or without support from industry. Instead, he asked industry lobbyists to write legislation and invited his allies in statehouse green groups to go along.

Many of you may be familiar with Josh  Fox's famous films, "Gasland" and "Gasland II" which raised serious concerns about the controversial drilling practice.  Most will remember people lighting water from their garden hose and kitchen faucet on fire, allegedly due to the water supply being contaminated with methane gas from fracking.  Gasland II, the newer documentary, delves into the influence that the industry has on politicians in American, even going so far as to suggest that some are not just influenced, but owned.  The Guardian reported earlier this week that Josh Fox's anti-fracking movement could stop the practice in the UK.

Fracking involves injecting large amounts of water mixed with sand and toxic chemicals deep into the ground and then out like the spokes on a wheel (sometimes as far as two miles) to break up shale and release either oil or natural gas.  In addition to environmental/public health concerns over water contamination and air pollution contributing to climate change due to methane gas leaks, Illinois faces an additional threat.  The sand/silica needed for the process is to be mined at a site right next to the iconic Starved Rock State Park, which is visited by over 2 million people and students each year.  Frackers argue that the mine will create 39 permanent jobs.  Fracking also threatens the Shawnee National Forest , the crown jewel of southern Illinois, as the same Daily Kos diarist wrote about last May.

The event announcement follows below the fold.

Mr. Prud'homme has written several books previously, one about water security called "The Ripple Effect:  The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty First Century".  His writing has appeared in many periodicals, such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Time, and People.

The International House is located on the University of Chicago's famous Midway at 1414 South 59th Street, Chicago, Illinois (in Hyde Park).  

Today, 90 percent of natural gas wells use fracking. Though highly effective, the process-which fractures rock with pressurized fluid-has been criticized for polluting land, air, and water, and endangering human health. Prud’homme’s Hydrofracking explores both sides of the debate, from the economic and political benefits of fracking to the health dangers and negative effects on the environment, and offers clear answers to a range of fundamental questions, including:

What is fracking fluid?

How does it impact water supplies?

Who regulates the industry?

How much recoverable natural gas exists in the U.S.?

What new innovations are on the horizon?

Written for general readers, Hydrofracking explains both the complex science of fracking and the equally complex political and economic issues that surround it, giving readers all the information they need to understand what will no doubt remain a contentious issue for years to come.

Originally posted to julesrules39 on Sat Nov 02, 2013 at 10:34 AM PDT.

Also republished by Land of Lincoln Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
    Many of you may be familiar with Josh  Fox's famous films, "Gasland" and "Gasland II" which raised serious concerns about the controversial drilling practice.
    Hydraulic fracturing has nothing at all to do with drilling operations at oil and gas wells.

    Hydraulic fracturing is a 'well completion' operation and not a drilling operation.

    Gasland and Gasland II are dramatic representations produced and meant as entertainment that has little or anything at all to do with actual reality and physical description of what goes on in the oil and gas industry.

    Gasland is erroneous statutory narrative and deliberate falsification of statements of how the oil and gas industry is regulated for purposes of dramatic embellishment and performance art.  

    Gasland and Gasland II are neither documentaries nor legitimate scientific and engineering narratives about environmental and public health impact and process safety in the oil and gas industry.

    Josh Fox's public pronouncements about the oil and gas industry and the products and public appearances associated with the Gasland entertainment movie complex are mostly about fear induction and psychological conditioning of the public to believe in risks that do not exist.  

    Gasland, Gasland II and Josh Fox's antics are all drama, performance art, dramatic embellishment, anti-science/engineering activity, science denial and erroneous logical claims.  

    Gasland does not have anything at all to do with effective environmental enforcement since using conflation, fabrication and dramatic embellishment has nothing at all to do with legitimate scientific and engineering review of oil and gas operations.

    Democrats and environmentalists who allow Josh Fox to be their front man do so at great peril to their credibility and at the risk of swimming in a conflation/fabrication and science denial campaign.

  •  LakeSuperior, you have previously indicated that (0+ / 0-)

    you testify on both sides of the table.  Yet, your response here is so one-sided that it confirms that you are a corporate shill/troll.  Your comments are totally untrue.  Example :

    Hydraulic fracturing has nothing at all to do with drilling operations at oil and gas wells.

    Hydraulic fracturing is a 'well completion' operation and not a drilling operation.

    Really, let's see what the EPA says on hydraulic fracturing, AKA, fracking:
    The process of hydraulic fracturing begins with building the necessary site infrastructure including well construction. Production wells may be drilled in the vertical direction only or paired with horizontal or directional sections. Vertical well sections may be drilled hundreds to thousands of feet below the land surface and lateral sections may extend 1000 to 6000 feet away from the well.
    Secondly, Josh Fox's documentaries have done more to raise awareness of the dangers of fracking on a national and international level than anything else.  To suggest that they don't raise important environmental and health risks, including some evidence from the industry itself, is wholly rediculous.

    You regularly post misleading information on a number of environmental/climate change issues.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site