Frackenstein’s Monster: The Recent History of American “Energy Dominance”

President Donald Trump has vowed to pursue a policy of "energy dominance." In many ways, the nation has already achieved it.The question is what to do with it.

Lecture Description

Since 2005, the United States has witnessed a spectacular growth in oil and gas production, reversing decades of decline, due to hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking.” This lecture discusses the technological, geographical, social, and policy aspects of the rise of modern fracking. It brings the story into the present, analyzing the major battles at the state and federal levels over how to regulate this new industry, how the fracking revolution has strengthened American power in the world, and what it means for climate change. The industry’s talented if not mad scientists created a technological marvel and changed the course of energy’s future at the global level. For many at the local level in the United States, however, the maturing oil and gas creature is not a force for progress, but a scary Frackenstein’s Monster. The creature is here to stay. It is too formidable and valuable to kill. The challenge is to make it sociable.

CATEGORIES

Environment and Natural Resources Technology and Industry

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