Review by Rachel Ehrenberg
Deep in the earth, from eastern Ohio through West Virginia, Pennsylvania and upstate New York, lies the Marcellus Shale, a nearly 400-million-year-old geologic formation harboring vast quantities of natural gas. That statement isn’t up for debate, which makes it rare in the divisive discussions about the rush for gas — and particularly about hydraulic fracturing, the process used to extract it (see Page 20).
Wilber covered natural gas exploration as a reporter for the Binghamton, N.Y., Press & Sun-Bulletin and saw the Marcellus story unfold firsthand. From the first town meetings and land leases (some for $25 an acre: “I feel like we traded Manhattan for blankets and beads,” says one landowner), Wilber evenhandedly reports the human side of drilling. Against the backdrop of the nation’s energy future, global warming and economic woes, he tells