Meet ‘The Frackers’


A few “unlikely, ambitious and headstrong wildcatters” made the energy revolution happen, Wall Street Journal reporter Gregory Zuckerman writes in The Frackers, despite naysayers such as Alan Greenspan (who warned that the nation’s gas fields were running dry), Warren Buffet (whose investments presumed a dearth of natural gas) and Vladimir Putin (who predicted a Russian gas monopoly).

The Chinese are behind, too, Gary Sernovitz notes in his review in the New Republic. “China, with more shale rock than the United States, chokes itself on coal as it looks enviously at gas wells south of Pittsburgh,” Sernovitz writes.

Zuckerman’s book doesn’t dwell on politics or environmental controversies surrounding fracking. Instead, Zuckerman celebrates the dreamers in an ode to private enterprise and the stubborn American can-do spirit.

Thanks to shale drilling, Zuckerman notes:

  • “So much oil is flowing that in a few more years, the United States may not need to import any crude, or might only rely on friends such as Canada and Mexico, ending a 50-year addiction to oil from countries with interests that many years ago diverged from ours.”
  • America is the world’s largest producer of natural gas — with two of the world’s largest gas fields.
  • More than 2 million jobs could be generated by 2020

An essay on fracking by Zuckerman appeared in the Wall Street Journal this week. You can read it here.