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Group buys former Armour meatpacking site in Stockyards

The 16.8-acre site of the historic, former Armour meatpacking plant in Fort Worth’s Stockyards has changed hands, and its new owners aren’t saying anything about their plans. Chesapeake Land Development Co., which bought the site

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Dallas-Fort Worth in top five commercial real estate markets in 2015

According to the Emerging Trends in Real Estate 2015 report, just co-published by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Dallas-Fort Worth ranks No. 5, with two other Texas cities, Houston and Austin ranking at No. 1 and 2 respectively. San Francisco ranks No. 3 and Denver No. 4.

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Social House Fort Worth plans to open mid-November

Social House has leased 5,045 square feet at 2801-2873 W Seventh St. in Fort Worth, according to Xceligent Inc.

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Hulen Pointe Shopping Center sold

Hulen Pointe Shopping Center, located in southwest Fort Worth on South Hulen Street one mile south of Hulen Mall, has been purchased by Addison-based Bo Avery with TriMarsh Properties for an undisclosed price.

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Ski Grand Prairie? TCU, UTA grad helping bring snow to Metroplex

For Levi Davis last week may have been a career peak, in more ways than one.

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New book on fracking illuminates pros, cons


KEVIN BEGOS, Associated Press

"The Boom" (Simon & Schuster), by Russell Gold

The once-obscure oil and gas drilling process known as fracking has generated hundreds of billions of dollars and considerable dissent, as communities and experts argue over how to balance the vast amounts of money at stake with environmental and health risks.

In "The Boom," Russell Gold brings new clarity to a subject awash in hype from all sides. "The Boom" is a thoughtful, well-written and carefully researched book that provides the best overview yet of the pros and cons of fracking. Gold quietly leads both supporters and critics of drilling to consider other views, and that's a good thing.

A long-time energy reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Gold has an impressive range of knowledge, and his clear prose makes wonky topics such as well casings and methane leaks understandable. But even more important, he brings the fracking battles to life with personal stories that go beyond stereotypes.

For example, Gold's left-wing parents bought some rocky Pennsylvania farmland in the early 1970s with a group of like-minded friends, expecting it to be a quiet refuge from the big city. It was that, but also turned out to be sitting on top of vast deposits of natural gas. Gold's parents ponder what they could gain or lose with drilling, see how neighbors feel and ultimately decide to sign a lucrative Marcellus Shale lease.

Gold writes that fracking presents energy companies and landowners with a variety of options and challenges, and people respond differently. Some embrace drilling. Some resent it. Many have mixed feelings, but in a modern society that uses vast amounts of energy, the fracking boom isn't going away any time soon.

Gold captures the genius and the failings of George Mitchell, the so-called father of fracking. Mitchell's small Texas company experimented with fracking for years while big energy companies scoffed and ultimately reaped a billion-dollar payoff. But when state regulators found evidence that his poor drilling practices contributed to ruined private water wells in the early 1990s, Mitchell fought the lawsuits tooth and nail, and ultimately paid only token fines. And despite his fracking windfall and an interest in sustainable communities, Mitchell failed to invest in the next frontier of renewable energy. He just wasn't interested.

"The Boom" contains a good recap of how the Sierra Club went from embracing fracking and taking tens of millions of dollars in secret donations from Chesapeake Energy to opposing the process. The chapter "Everyone Comes for the Money" illuminates the vast scale and impact of the Bakken shale oil boom in North Dakota, and other sections cover climate change and the basic geology of shale rock, which can hold either oil or gas.

Gold rightly notes that the end result of fracking "has been staggering and transformative," but adds a caution.

Since regulations and even drilling technology are still evolving, "it's too soon to declare victory in fracking," and Gold notes that when the drilling boom began, "the unofficial policy was to drill first and ask questions later. How well those questions are heeded will likely determine whether we look back on the shale revolution with relief or regret."

 

 

 

 

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