Hard Facts About Fracking

Pennsylvania Auditor General report

Pennsylvania Auditor General report

Today, OnEarth Magazine published its review of my book. It’s a good review and well thought out.

Here’s my favorite excerpt:

When Gold does turn from chronicling the boom to evaluating its consequences, however, he reaches a very simple conclusion: we need to slow down. Our communities, our health, our water, and our future climate, he says, could very well depend on it.

Slow down. That’s a good summation.  I was thinking about this when I saw that the Pennsylvania Auditor General issued a review of the state’s Department of Environmental Protection and how it handled the shale boom. It is worth reading. And it arrives at a similar conclusion. The headline on the press release says it all: the rapid shale gas development “outpaced” the regulator’s ability to regulate the industry. Things happened too quickly. The agency was unprepared when the boom began. From the report:

DEP did not have sufficient resources to handle the increased demand from the shale gas boom.

The audit also chronicles how the agency didn’t respond to citizen’s complaints well, which led to an erosion in trust. We’re several years into the shale gas boom. Faith in the industry and government to do the right thing seems to be eroding. This audit suggests why.

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