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Public Affairs

Fracking, Freedom, and Community in an American Town


On This Green Earth, NYU Professor Colin Jerolmack comes on to talk about fracking.

The U.S. is the only country where property rights commonly extend beneath the Earth’s surface, granting landowners the ability to lease land for fracking, despite any health issues or environmental damage it may cause.  

Jerolmack has written the book, UP TO HEAVEN AND DOWN HELL: Fracking, Freedom, and Commuity in an American Town, which recounts the time he spent living in rural Williamsport, Pennsylvania that happens to sit atop a vast trove of valuable shale gas. In his book, he writes about how individual rights and lucrative financial opportunities collide dramatically with community well-being and environmental concerns.