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Fracking | Interview: The Price of Gas | 4

American Innovations


Science, Kids & Family, Steven Johnson, Education For Kids, History

4.64.1K Ratings

🗓️ 5 August 2021

⏱️ 43 minutes

🧾️ Download transcript


Families who leased their gas-rich land to fracking companies during the boom are still wrestling with the impact of that decision. On this episode, Steven talks to Eliza Griswold, an award-winning poet, writer and journalist. Her book, “Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America,” won a Pulitzer Prize for its immersive, insightful look into the fracking boom and its effect on Appalachian coal country.

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For Wondery, I'm Stephen Johnson and this is American Innovations.




20 years after the beginning of the fracking boom were still unraveling its consequences.


Just this month the New York Times reported that in 2011 the EPA approved three chemicals that have been linked to cancer and birth defects for use and fracking.


Some families who lease their land to gas companies are still dealing with illnesses that might have been caused by those same chemicals.


But before the greater costs of fracking were clear, it appealed to families on gas rich land, who sought as a lucrative opportunity.


Today's guest Eliza Griswald is an award-winning poet, writer and journalist.


She's a staff writer at the New Yorker and a distinguished writer and resident at NYU.


In 2019 her book, Amity and Prosperity, One Family and the Fracturing of America,


won a pull of surprise for its immersive insightful look into the fracking boom and its effects on Appalachian Coal Country.


Eliza Griswald, thank you so much for joining us on American Innovations.


Thank you so much for having me.


We have so many things to talk about and you've written this incredibly powerful and award-winning book.


And one of the kind of common threads between our series and your book is the story of the Haney family.


And I wanted to just get a little bit of the kind of backstory both about how you met the Haney's and how you got into this topic in the first place.


Can you tell us a little bit about that?


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