Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment

By Wenonah Hauter. The New Press, 2016. 276 pages. $27.95/hardcover.

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Food & Water Watch is a national organization with state chapters; as such, it is nimble enough to organize on local issues. In this book, founder and executive director Hauter discusses fracking, which she says “looms as the environmental issue of our times,” state by state where it is going on. In order to draw the big picture, she also reveals the criss-crossing web of relationships among those who benefit from it; the web includes oil companies, but also some in finance, media, and retail as well as utilities and nonprofits. The nonprofit beneficiaries of fracking include oil trade groups, but also others like the Smithsonian. She doesn’t include elected officials and legislators in the web, but the point is clear: all the beneficiaries will protect their own stake by protecting the others. This book is Hauter’s considerable contribution to helping citizens understand the issues; it is an excellent source to learn about more than fracking. The extensive index makes it even more valuable. The local chapters of Food & Water Watch offer a place to join in activism for those so led.

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