Up to Heaven and Down to Hell
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Geisteswissenschaften, Kunst, Musik / Pädagogik
A riveting portrait of a rural Pennsylvania town at the center of the fracking controversy
Shale gas extraction—commonly known as fracking—is often portrayed as an energy revolution that will transform the American economy and geopolitics. But in greater Williamsport, Pennsylvania, fracking is personal. Up to Heaven and Down to Hell is a vivid and sometimes heartbreaking account of what happens when one of the most momentous decisions about the well-being of our communities and our planet—whether or not to extract shale gas and oil from the very land beneath our feet—is largely a private choice that millions of ordinary people make without the public's consent.
The United States is the only country in the world where property rights commonly extend "up to heaven and down to hell," which means that landowners have the exclusive right to lease their subsurface mineral estates to petroleum companies. Colin Jerolmack spent eight months living with rural communities outside of Williamsport as they confronted the tension between property rights and the commonwealth. In this deeply intimate book, he reveals how the decision to lease brings financial rewards but can also cause irreparable harm to neighbors, to communal resources like air and water, and even to oneself.
Up to Heaven and Down to Hell casts America’s ideas about freedom and property rights in a troubling new light, revealing how your personal choices can undermine your neighbors’ liberty, and how the exercise of individual rights can bring unintended environmental consequences for us all.
Distrust, Right to property, Royalty payment, Supervisor, Disaster, Wastewater, Pesticide, Politics, Environmental movement, Salary, Odor, Parking lot, Liberty, Shale gas, Payment, Tragedy of the commons, Uncertainty, Regulation, Pollution, Filling station, Driveway, Lawyer, Chesapeake Energy, Water well, Gasland, Property law, De facto, Compressor station, Gravel road, Tax, Trading post, State forest, Unemployment, Diesel engine, Individualism, Drinking water, Lease, Impact fee, Income, Lessor (leasing), Slowdown, The Public Interest, Tom Corbett, Coal, Self-sufficiency, Apartment, Light pollution, Pickup truck, Carcinogen, Privatization, Family farm, Drilling rig, Activism, Americans, Sovereignty, Trail, Country lane, Environmental issue, Petroleum industry, Severance tax, Loyalsock State Forest, Residence, Wellhead, Common-pool resource, Pipeline transport, Self-governance, Subsurface (software), Mineral rights, Princeton University Press, Sediment, Halliburton, Security guard, Natural gas, Mining, Infrastructure, Eminent domain, Hagemeyer, Split estate, Old Loggers Path, Spillover effect, Coal mining, Livelihood, Greenhouse gas, Big government, Wealth, Elinor Ostrom, Climate change, Externality, Ownership, Republican Party (United States), Hydraulic fracturing, Lockean proviso, Politician, Environmentalist, Natural resource, Fossil fuel, Environmentalism, Roughneck, Methane, Private sector