By Bethany McLean ’92. Columbia Global Reports, September 2018. Available on Amazon. The technology of fracking in shale rock — particularly in the Permian Basin in Texas — has transformed America into the world’s top producer of both oil and natural gas. The U.S. is expected to be “energy independent” and a “net exporter” in less than a decade, a move that will upend global politics, destabilize Saudi Arabia, crush Russia’s chokehold over Europe, and finally bolster American power again. Or will it? Investigative journalist Bethany McLean digs deep into the cycles of boom and bust that have plagued the American oil industry for the past decade.