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.

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

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The Fracking Revolution: Finding Energy Stories Everywhere by Marilyn Geewax

  1. 1. The Fracking Revolution: Finding Energy Stories Title Slide Everywhere Marilyn Geewax NPR Senior Business Editor @geewaxnpr
  2. 2. What is Fracking? Most Americans – and journalists – aren’t entirely sure… americans-uninformed-aboutfracking-says-new-study-16762
  3. 3. Oil and Gas Drilling Are Booming
  4. 4. Production Has Shot Up as Fracking Has Grown U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data
  5. 5. U.S Output Is Growing as Consumption and Imports Decline EIA Data
  6. 6. “Saudi America” Is Becoming an Exporter of Energy EIA Data
  7. 7. Poll Question #1 How many stories have you produced about fracking? •  More than five •  Between two and five •  One story •  None
  8. 8. The Change Has Come Quickly EIA data •  What's Happening in Texas
  9. 9. The Permian Basin in Texas
  10. 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. 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. 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. 13. Poll Question #2: In your community, what local stories have taken shape related to the new energy industry?
  14. 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. 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. 16. Switch From Coal to Natural Gas Will Help Energy-Hungry Industries Makers Of Steel And Other Metals Will Benefit
  17. 17. Dow Chemical Expands in Texas
  18. 18. Trucking Fleets and Railroads Are Switching To Natural Gas
  19. 19. Jobs Are Growing BLS says energy-production workers average $35.15 an hour
  20. 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. 21. Booming Oil Industry Struggling to Fill Job Openings
  22. 22. What Could Go Right? •  Air quality keeps improving as fracking increases. Emissions off 12% since 2007. • carbon/
  23. 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. 24. Many Worry That Fracking May Release Methane, Harm Ground Water and Trigger Earthquakes
  25. 25. Some Skeptics Say Industry Is OverEstimating the Potential
  26. 26. People In Many States Just Don't Want to Live Next to Fracking
  27. 27. Easy-to-Find Local Angles in TX, OH, PA, ND, LA
  28. 28. But Stories Can Be Found Almost Everywhere, Even Maine
  29. 29. Additional Resources fracking
  30. 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. 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. 32. Questions? @geewaxnpr