This encore program originally aired in January, 2019.
Fracking has upended the global energy map, transforming America into the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. With the influence of Saudi Arabia and Russia shrinking as the goal of “energy independence” comes into focus, America’s energy policy would seem to be on a clear and positive trajectory. But the truth is more complicated.
In her book, Saudi America: The Truth About Fracking and How It’s Changing the World, Bethany McLean uncovers the reality of America’s fracking boom. Looking at the economics of capital investment and net debt, McLean paints a picture of a business where the massive returns promised to investors have yet to bear out.
Bethany McLean is an author and journalist known for her work on the 2008 financial crisis. Her previous books include the bestselling saga of the Enron collapse, The Smartest Guys in the Room, and Shaky Ground: The Strange Saga of the US Mortgage Giants. She frequently writes for Slate and Fortune and is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair.