Campus Life

Russell Gold, 2015 Penn State Reads author, to speak Oct. 13 at community event

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — “Fracking is different. The risks of any single well are tiny compared to a nuclear power plant. But several hundred wells? Several thousand?” writes Russell Gold, author of the 2015-16 Penn State Reads book, “The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World.” The public is invited to “Meet Russell Gold, author of ‘The Boom,’ ” an interview with Katie O’Toole, 7:30-8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct.13, at the Days Inn Penn State, 240 South Pugh St., downtown State College.

In “The Boom,” Gold examines the fracking industry closely, documenting the rise of this environmental oilfield technology and its impact on rural communities. Gold travels far and wide to explore all facets of fracking, visiting pipelines, exploring fracking sites across the United States and interviewing a large swath of interested and invested parties: CEOs, engineers, environmentalists and politicians. The result is a book that casts a wide net on a highly polarizing topic in today’s society: the high cost, both social and monetary, of new energy sources.

According to the Associated Press, “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.”

Russell Gold is an award-winning journalist at The Wall Street Journal, covering energy news topics for the population since 2002.  As part of a Wall Street Journal investigative team, Gold reported on the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. The team’s coverage was a finalist in 2010 for the Pulitzer Prize in National Reporting. Published in 2014, “The Boom” was longlisted for the Financial Times (FT) McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award, formerly the FT Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award.

Katie O’Toole is an adjunct instructor in Penn State’s College of Communications, teaching there since receiving her doctoral degree in mass communications in 2010. Prior to her academic work, she held a position with Penn State Public Broadcasting for 24 years.

The interview will be followed by a reception and a book signing by the author. No tickets are required. Doors open at 7 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Penn State’s Institute for the Arts and Humanities (IAH), the Penn State Reads Program, the Pennsylvania Center for the Book, the University Libraries; the Pennsylvania Humanities Council; and Schlow Centre Region Library.

For more information, call 800-462-0442. If you anticipate needing accessibility accommodations or have questions about the physical access provided, please contact Ellysa Stern Cahoy at or 814-865-9696.

"The Boom," by Russell Gold, 2015-16 Penn State Reads selection Credit: image provided by Penn State ReadsAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated September 29, 2015