ProPublica’s Abrahm Lustgarten discusses fracking at Smitty 13

ProPublica’s Abrahm Lustgarten

By Meredith Broadwater

At ProPublica, Abrahm Lustgarten writes about hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking.  He has won many awards and has written two books: “China’s Great Train: Beijing’s Drive West and the Campaign to Remake Tibet” and “Run to Failure: BP and the Making of the Deepwater Horizon Disaster.”  Lustgarten’s documentary, “Frontline,” was Emmy-nominated, exemplifying how significant his work in his industry is. 

Lustgarten is passionate about fracking, which is why he talked extensively on the topic at the 2013 Schuneman Symposium on Tuesday, Feb. 26. 

“My interests are really in water and in the environment, and so when I came to ProPubilca I set out to blend all of these topics together,” Lustgarten said. 

Lustgarten has traveled to many places studying the process of fracking.  Most recently, he went to North Dakota to investigate the fracking that is taking place there.    

“My hope has always been to inform the debate, to push government to regulatory agencies, to ask the right questions, to contribute to the discussion, to help people make the best decisions that they can about what to do with their land and how to get their energy.”

Abrahm Lustgarten is devoting his time to helping people get clean energy and continues to meet with many people in order to understand why a greater push for clean energy isn’t already happening. 

The main argument to be taken away from his presentation is that media outlets are important.  “This is where media has an important role to play.  History shows us that drilling industries spur by three things that force change: excessive costs, imposition of regulation, and a major catastrophe or an embarrassment.”