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Who’s Fuelin’ Whom?

Tapping into the growing interest in fracking and the development of shale gas, Chelsea Green Publishing – the nation’s leading publisher on home-scale, do-it-yourself books about food, fuel, and shelter – is offering a new manual for homesteaders—The Plunderer’s Companion: Home-Scale Fracking and Micro Mining for the Homestead and Farm by Sue T. Boottes.

The book will follow on the heels of this Spring’s anticipated book, Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet. In Extracted, author Ugo Bardi explains the history of mining, and how it has played into empire building, and collapse, and could be poised to do so again.

As Bardi points out in his forthcoming book Extracted, large corporations and nation states are close to exhausting many of the key rare Earth minerals we need to fuel our global economy. So, why should they get to hoard all of those resources and hold other nations hostage? It’s time to reclaim and relocalize these important economic resources.

Once the global mining machine stalls for good, you’ll be prepared to react and have a prospering, locally owned business to server your community’s fuel needs.

“Why pay someone else to fracture the Earth’s crust to get at that valuable fuel that’s right under your feet? Why not drill yourself and reap the profits for you and your progeny?” writes Boottes. “This is not just home-fracking for fun and profit, but an effort to rekindle the craft of deep earth mining and apply those techniques to a modern mining age that is crumbling under its own weight. You’ve heard of slow food, and slow money…this is slow mining.”

“Plunder and get rich: it is right there for the taking!” adds Boottes.

The Plunderer’s Companion is fully illustrated with detailed designs and easy-to-follow steps for readers to start mining or drilling deep beneath the crust of their backyard in a safe and economical fashion. And, best of all, this book demonstrates how you can do this with simple tools you may already have laying around the homestead – shovels, pickaxes, high-pressure hoses, piping, cold frames, and rain barrels.

The author also describes how it is important to take into account that not everyone might be as excited as you are about your home-scale fracking endeavor. Dealing with nosy neighbors is especially challenging for those living in suburban and urban areas. Boottes offers advice such as camouflaging the drill sites with fruit and nut tree plantings, drilling when neighbors are not around, and leading discussions to educate your community about the benefits of locally sourced gas and oil.

And, for those immediate neighbors, who may have noticed your horizontal drilling extend underneath their garden, Boottes suggests breaking the ice with a gift of a small mason jar of liquefied natural gas to help them get on board with your new hobby. “These kind gestures may come in handy down the road if you run out of room to store any excess ‘byproduct,’” Boottes writes.

In The Plunderer’s Companion, readers will also learn how to:

  • Plant perennials that can co-exist with your drill sites;
  • Create a community-supported mining operation/Oil Share;
  • Power your mining operation with draft horses to keep from using up those fossil fuels you’re trying to sell at a premium to your neighbors;
  • Prepare the chemical cocktail to inject in the drill hole from commonly found ingredients;
  • Use the exhaust of the engine of your car to pressurize the hole and frack the rock underground. From the same hole, you’ll get natural gas directly to power your home heating system; and;
  • Take full advantage of the global extraction boon by micro mining. This emerging extractive process is designed for homeowners who might be sitting on top of a gold mine – literally – of rare earth minerals.

Hands of Coal

We know that food, when fresh and unprocessed like raw milk, is more nutrient-dense and beneficial for the body. In recent studies, locally sourced, small-scale fossil fuels have been found to be even more powerful than the homogenous, corporate commodities sold by big oil and gas companies. A little goes a long way in the home-scale fracking industry. Start your family drilling operation today and join the frackavore movement.

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