As mentioned in this post, my next crime thriller novel is set in the Bakken oil patch of North Dakota. The boom there is bringing oil companies and workers from across North America. They're using a practice called "fracking" to extract oil out of shale.
There's a lot of misinformation about fracking out there, both for and against. This Snopes article dishes them out pretty well. While there are environmental concerns with any mining operation, the benefits of the oil boom in North Dakota are also on a lot of minds. The state has such a budget surplus, voters considered doing away with property taxes.
The measure failed last year, but it highlights an important point. Fracking radically transformed North Dakota. It changed the land, the demographics and possibly the direction of an entire country. It's important to understand what the process entails. Energy independence is a big issue this election season, and fracking will come up.
What do you think about this process? Does the potential for water contamination make the process too risky? Or are the economic and energy independence issues too important to not use fracking?