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Hydrofracked? One Man's Mystery Leads to a Backlash Against Natural Gas Drilling

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  265 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
When the well water on Louis Meeks’ ranch turned brown and oily, he suspected that the thousands of natural gas wells dotting the once-empty Wyoming landscape were somehow to blame. The hard part was proving it. Meeks’ struggle to get the energy companies to take responsibility, meticulously documented through three years of investigative reporting by ProPublica’s Abrahm L ...more
Kindle Edition, 43 pages
Published (first published February 22nd 2011)
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Janette Fuller
Mar 03, 2011 Janette Fuller rated it it was amazing
Hydraulic fracturing is a process that results in the creation of fractures in rocks. The most important industrial use is in stimulating oil and gas wells, where hydraulic fracturing has been used for over 60 years in more than one million wells. Man-made fluid-driven fractures are formed at depth in a borehole and extend into targeted formations. "Hydrofracked? One Man's Mystery Leads to a Backlash Against Natural Gas Drilling (Kindle Single)", by Abrahm Lustgarten from ProPublica, tells the s ...more
Jun 29, 2011 Blain rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
If you don't know what hydrofracking is this short book is a good introduction, and you can find it for free. Although this report does not delve into the technology of this mining technique in depth it does shed light on the struggles of any individual who tries to stand up and bring awareness of an environmental issue to the community; neighbors upset that your ruining their home prices, the scientific difficulty of finding a 'smoking gun', the monstrously slow movements of government agencies ...more
E.D. Martin
Aug 11, 2011 E.D. Martin rated it it was amazing
This book left me really frustrated.


Oil companies come in and say, "Hey, trust us that we're acting in your best interests."
Communities suddenly have nasty water and exploding wells and houses.
People blame the oil companies, particularly when they use fracking.
Oil companies pay billions to states. Governments tell people there's no connection.
People keep complaining.
Oil companies pay billions to lobbyists. Governments tell people there's no connection.
Meanwhile, the environment is scre
Donna R
May 13, 2013 Donna R rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fic, journo
Long ago when my Kindle was shiny new and mysterious I frantically downloaded as much free stuff as I could find - and this was one of those.
It isn't something I would have picked up in a store or library so it came as some surprise when it affected me as it did. While reading it I had what I think of as "the emperor has no clothes" moment - there he is prancing down the road waving his hands (and various other bits) at the cheering crowd and he's naked as a jay bird. No-one has the courage to
Mar 14, 2015 Rachel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, h, male-author
Im interested in the idea of Fracking and its impacts on the environment in a time where we need to be focusing on changing to renewable energy sources rather than finite ones.

Once again it is the story of the 'small man' vs. the corporate machine and the battle to gain anything from it. It was quite disturbing to read about the problems experienced by the family involved at a variety of levels - health, economic etc. and how vunerable and unable to help themselves they felt.

Definately one I wil
Sep 12, 2011 Cathy rated it it was amazing
Five stars are for the subject matter -- Very timely and important essay on hydrofracking. I don't have the answer as to what is the right way to resolve our energy needs, but don't think this method of drilling is right. I think it is more important to have clean, safe drinking water than cheap energy. The oil companies need to be compelled to be more transparent with the chemicals they use in hydrofracking well drilling!!
Marilyn Chilcote
May 02, 2011 Marilyn Chilcote rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
this gives five stars not for the writing, but for the timeliness – for the urgency – NO FOR THE EMERGENCY I feel about it. You can read it in an hour and a half if you skim – but it will in lighten your thinking for a decade and a half. We have to know this stuff.

The environmental damage were doing with the way we are increasingly pumping the gas out from underneath the earth.
This essay (free for Amazon Kindle, also at deals with the little known risks of natural gas drilling, in particular in regards to the water suppy. An important work of investigative journalism, a must read for anyone whose water supply could be effected. Lustgarten does a good job of explaining how the process works and discussing the science.
Brian Borgford
Mar 30, 2013 Brian Borgford rated it it was amazing
Obviously not enough attention is being paid to this issue. The majority of the evidence in this book is circumstantial, but it's overwhelmingly. The objective evidence is enough to cause any sane person to think about it. JI doesn't seem to agree with evidence, but what else is new.

Definitely not the end of the story. Thanks for writing it.
Msgrv Csicablenet
Feb 04, 2012 Msgrv Csicablenet rated it it was amazing
This was very enlightening abaout what is happening to our earth when drilling abounds.
Is it a good thing we are having the big oil boom in Williston?
Is the Keystone Pipeline a good thing for America or is it what I fear a eviromental disaster !

Read about the truth about drilling! Controvesal to say the least.
Oct 07, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2011, nonfiction
This is a look at an issue that is in the news from the perspective of an individual living on land that he believes damaged by hydrofracking. This is far more balanced than some might suspect and gives us non-engineers a good introduction to the issues involved.
Katarina Nolte
Jan 08, 2015 Katarina Nolte rated it it was amazing
This ProPublica ebook tells the story of a former gas well worker turned rancher and the problems he experiences due to fracking activities in his region.
The area of Eastern Wyoming plays a central role, where drinking water suddenly turns cloudy, shiny and foul tasting.
The book provides the reader with a short history of gas drilling, current drilling locations, 1980s – present methane drilling, and the hydraulic fracturing boom which begun in the mid 1990s. ... Book Review: Hydrofracked? One m
S. K. Pentecost
Jan 10, 2014 S. K. Pentecost rated it really liked it
Well written news about wells. Lustgarten communicates a sense of the unfairness inherent in battling the system. He takes us on a roller-coaster ride of urgency, hopelessness, then light at the end of the tunnel.

Luis Meeks is relatable. He's the kind of guy you want to win. The gas companies are secretive, misrepresenting fat cats; the perfect bad guys. If I were still naïve enough to think it was possible, I'd say this story almost writes itself.

This is a story about problems. It doesn't tackl
Rebecka Hoyt
Jul 31, 2014 Rebecka Hoyt rated it it was amazing
Remember the Erin Brokovich movie?

This book gives you insight into what people went through during this time, and how. long it takes to get something to happen.
Jul 14, 2012 Paola rated it it was ok
The book recounts the nightmarish experience of a man who finds his watersupply contaminated - most probably by fracking carried out in the vicinity. We then learn of all the possible negative consequences of fracking on the environment, and of how energy companies lobby hard to prevent environmental controls.

The analysis is strongly one sided, and not particularly scientific, still it had the merit to push me to find out more about fracking. Nevertheless, unless you can borrow it (or get it as
Apr 20, 2014 April rated it really liked it
not exactly an enjoyable subject but very interesting none the less
Jul 08, 2015 Velvetink marked it as to-read
Jeff Raymond
Apr 20, 2013 Jeff Raymond rated it did not like it
A Kindle Single by a ProPublica writer (should have been the first warning sign) about one person's experience with fracking near his area. It's an incomplete piece, not noting a single bit about the science behind fracking or fracking safety, and a number of poor insinuations about what was going on without actually casting blame directly (possibly for legal reasons). Not the first place I'd want anyone to go for information on natural gas drilling, for sure. Not recommended at all.
Eric Wright
Oct 09, 2013 Eric Wright rated it it was amazing
Interesting - curious about what 'fracking', or hydrofracking is: then you should read this. While this can be seen as one person's frustration and fight with "big oil" - there is a science aspect meaningful to everyone. Remember in the '70's when leaded gasoline was safe because the industry said so, now the industry is saying hydrofracking is safe because there is no proof it is harmful.
Jun 23, 2011 Cheryl marked it as waiting-2-be-read-kindle
Recommended to Cheryl by: Amazon
From the Amazon webpage:
ProPublica has made this Single available for free to Kindle customers. Your contribution to ProPublica, a non-profit publisher, will help them reveal critical stories that otherwise wouldn't be told--stories that make a difference.

First time I've noticed that but I like the concept.
Mar 13, 2011 Lindsay rated it liked it
An interesting essay on natural gas drilling, bringing up some of the issues involved, but while there is strong evidence for the fact that there are dangers, by the end of the essay it didn't really seem like any real conclusions had been drawn.
Jul 26, 2011 Walter rated it really liked it
This is a great intro to the hydralic fracture story, and is made personal by telling it through the eyes of Meeks and his fight with huge drilling corporations.
Mar 14, 2011 Heidi rated it it was amazing
currently still free...why don't you "buy" it outright?...

even if you don't own a Kindle, this short piece is a very good reason to download the app for pc.

Cara Schwarz
Jun 24, 2012 Cara Schwarz rated it really liked it
Although it was not expertly written, makes you think about big business and their influence ...
Mar 24, 2011 Steph rated it liked it
Interesting first person account of natural gas drilling gone wrong. Interesting read.
Jan 08, 2012 Anita rated it liked it
Interesting read on man view and fight against the big gas companies.
Jun 27, 2011 Michele rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Very interesting account of environmental damage.
Jun 25, 2011 Nabilla rated it really liked it
Worth reading.
Rainey added it
Feb 06, 2016
GARY rated it really liked it
Feb 05, 2016
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