The Podcast: Is fracking a bad bet? With Milo McBride

The Podcast

The Podcast: Is fracking a bad bet? With Milo McBride

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COVID-19 has slammed shale oil and gas, and the “fracking” industry has turned to the Federal Reserve to stay afloat. But was fracking a bad investment from the start?


In this episode:


  • Host Jared Downing reviews our report about shrinking Alaskan salmon. The salmon have been getting smaller for 60 years, a new study has revealed, and climate change likely plays a role. Smaller fish could harm Alaska’s seafood industry, which employs around 60,000 people (in a population of less than a million).


  • Milo McBride, author of our recent deep-dive into the shale oil and gas industry, discusses why fracking has always had an unsustainable business model and how maintaining the industry is bad for both the economy and the environment. Although shale energy now accounts for 8% of the American GDP, McBride describes an unprofitable “treadmill effect” of costs and debt that has plagued the industry for years. Meanwhile, renewable energy is now cheaper to produce than shale oil and gas, McBride continues. Yet, the Federal Reserve under the Trump administration continues to side with the frackers.


  • The conversation shifts to politics. Climate&Capital’s Rhea Mukerjee discusses Kamala Harris and her policies of environmental justice. Harris, she says, has demonstrated a history of fighting against climate change and environmental destruction, especially when it affects vulnerable communities. She would likely help a potential Biden administration stay committed to undoing the legacy of Donald Trump and return to the environmental trail Biden already helped blaze with President Obama.

Written by

Jared Downing

Jared Downing is managing editor of Climate & Capital Media. Before Climate&Capital, he spent five years in Yangon, Myanmar, producing the human rights podcast Doh Athan and producing features, columns, and cartoons for Frontier Myanmar, that country's leading English language magazine. Prior to that, he was a freelance writer in Birmingham Alabama, focusing on city culture and social justice.