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From 2013 to 2016, Daniel Raimi traveled to every major oil and gas producing region of the United States to investigate the local impacts of increased domestic production. Along the way, he met hundreds of people and gathered dozens of stories from the oilfield. 

Daniel Raimi

The Fracking Debate combines these stories with an in-depth and accessible examination of the current state of research on the most commonly asked questions related to fracking and oil and gas development more broadly. The Fracking Debate provides answers for anyone interested in the big questions of the shale revolution, and the tools to understand future developments and controversies. 

The Fracking Debate


Over roughly the past decade, oil and gas production in the United States has surged dramatically—thanks largely to technological advances such as precise horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing, more commonly known as “fracking.” This rapid expansion has generated widespread debate, with proponents touting economic and energy security benefits, and opponents highlighting the environmental and social risks of increased oil and gas production. Despite (or perhaps because of) the heated nature of the debate, many of the facts remain under dispute. In this book, Daniel Raimi gives a balanced and accessible view of the risks, benefits, and uncertainties of oil and gas development, clearly and thoroughly explaining the key issues surrounding the shale revolution.

The Fracking Debate directly addresses the most common questions and concerns associated with fracking, including: What is fracking? Does fracking pollute the water supply? Will fracking make the US energy independent? Does fracking cause earthquakes? Is fracking regulated? Is fracking good for the economy? Coupling a deep understanding of the scholarly research with travels to every major US oil and gas producing region, Raimi highlights stories of the people and communities affected by the shale revolution, for better and worse. The Fracking Debate provides the evidence and context that has so frequently been missing from the national discussion of the future of oil and gas production, offering readers the tools to make sense of this critical issue.​

  1. Introduction
  2. What is Fracking?
  3. Does Fracking Contaminate Water?
  4. Will Fracking Make Me Sick?
  5. Does Fracking Cause Earthquakes?
  6. Is There Any Regulation on Fracking?
  7. Is Fracking Good or Bad for Climate Change?
  8. Will Fracking Make the US Energy Independent?
  9. Is Fracking Good for the Economy?
  10. Will Fracking Spread Around the World?
  11. Do People Living Near Fracking Love it Or Hate it?
  12. What's Next?


Photos © Daniel Raimi



Daniel Raimi is a fellow at Resources for the Future, focusing on energy and climate policy. He also teaches energy policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan. He received his master's in public policy from Duke University and his undergraduate degree in music from Wesleyan University.

The Fracking Debate, his first book, is published by Columbia University Press as part of the Columbia University Center on Global Energy Policy series. Daniel lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.



I look forward to hearing from you. Please contact me with questions about The Fracking Debate or any of my other research.

I am available for interviews and speaking engagements.

Thank you for your message.

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