The Fracking Revolution: Finding Energy Stories Everywhere by Marilyn Geewax

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NPR's Marilyn Geewax presents The Fracking Revolution: Finding Energy Stories Everywhere," the free, one-hour webinar hosted by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism. …

NPR's Marilyn Geewax presents The Fracking Revolution: Finding Energy Stories Everywhere," the free, one-hour webinar hosted by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism.

For more information about free training for business journalists, please visit

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  • 1. The Fracking Revolution: Finding Energy Stories Title Slide Everywhere Marilyn Geewax NPR Senior Business Editor @geewaxnpr
  • 2. What is Fracking? Most Americans – and journalists – aren’t entirely sure… americans-uninformed-aboutfracking-says-new-study-16762
  • 3. Oil and Gas Drilling Are Booming
  • 4. Production Has Shot Up as Fracking Has Grown U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data
  • 5. U.S Output Is Growing as Consumption and Imports Decline EIA Data
  • 6. “Saudi America” Is Becoming an Exporter of Energy EIA Data
  • 7. Poll Question #1 How many stories have you produced about fracking? •  More than five •  Between two and five •  One story •  None
  • 8. The Change Has Come Quickly EIA data •  What's Happening in Texas
  • 9. The Permian Basin in Texas
  • 10. The Permian Basin May Change the Oil Game •  EIA says it’s the U.S.’s largest oil producer •  Production has increased by 93,000 barrels per day year-over-year •  Growing consensus that potential is huge •  It may hold more than 1 billion barrels •  That may be worth $5 trillion
  • 11. Companies Use “Hydraulic Fracturing” For Releasing Both Oil and Natural Gas •  The technique has been used since 1947. •  Fracking is now very common – some estimate it has been used to stimulate a million oil and gas wells around the world.
  • 12. So How Does Fracking Work For Natural Gas? 1) You need a lot of water 2) And you need a lot of steel pipe to drill down as far as 10,000 feet. Let this ProPublica illustration explain…
  • 13. Poll Question #2: In your community, what local stories have taken shape related to the new energy industry?
  • 14. Natural Gas Consumption By End Users EIA Data Electric power Industrial Residential Commercial Lease and plant fuel Transportation (pipeline & vehicle fuel) & other 36% 28% 16% 11% 5% 3%
  • 15. Impact on Manufacturers Will Be Huge •  Dramatically lower energy bills. •  Cheaper “feed stock” for making fertilizers and bulk chemicals (ethylene). •  Cheaper transportation options.
  • 16. Switch From Coal to Natural Gas Will Help Energy-Hungry Industries Makers Of Steel And Other Metals Will Benefit
  • 17. Dow Chemical Expands in Texas
  • 18. Trucking Fleets and Railroads Are Switching To Natural Gas
  • 19. Jobs Are Growing BLS says energy-production workers average $35.15 an hour
  • 20. Fair To Say the Energy Sector is Creating A Lot Of Jobs •  North Dakota is looking great, with 3 percent unemployment. Oil rig in Williston, N.D., by Flickr user lindsey gee
  • 21. Booming Oil Industry Struggling to Fill Job Openings
  • 22. What Could Go Right? •  Air quality keeps improving as fracking increases. Emissions off 12% since 2007. • carbon/
  • 23. What Could Go Wrong? •  •  •  •  Environmental Impact Is Just Too Negative Not As Much Gas And Oil As We Thought People Just Don’t Want It Other Countries Produce So Much, It Gets Too Cheap •  Fracking produces so much oil and gas that prices plunge, and the energy sector goes from boom to bust.
  • 24. Many Worry That Fracking May Release Methane, Harm Ground Water and Trigger Earthquakes
  • 25. Some Skeptics Say Industry Is OverEstimating the Potential
  • 26. People In Many States Just Don't Want to Live Next to Fracking
  • 27. Easy-to-Find Local Angles in TX, OH, PA, ND, LA
  • 28. But Stories Can Be Found Almost Everywhere, Even Maine
  • 29. Additional Resources fracking
  • 30. Stories to Look for in Your Community Oil rig in Williston, N.D., by Flickr user Lindsey Gira •  Are any manufacturers expanding? •  Are young people considering energy jobs? •  Are colleges making adjustments in courses?
  • 31. Stories to look for in your community •  Are workers getting injured or killed in these jobs? •  What’s happening to water and land around you? Photo by Flickr user Ben Schumin
  • 32. Questions? @geewaxnpr