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"There are many times when I don't share about my husband's work," said Christine Bess.

Christine did not marry a secret agent or a drug dealer. She married an oilman.

"It's not because I'm ashamed of it," she continued, "but because of the reactions I receive, including from many Christians."

Her husband, Brian, has worked in the oil and gas industry for over three decades. He is a partner at Enduring Resources, a company headquartered in Denver that develops oil and gas resources in Texas and Utah through horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing—commonly called fracking.

Fracking is the process of drilling holes thousands of feet vertically and then drilling horizontally at that depth. Drillers then send a fluid mixture of water, sand, and chemicals through a steel-cased pipe into the underground rock formations, unlocking and releasing oil and natural gas trapped in the rock. Imagine a high-powered pressure washer and sandblaster stuck into a steel pipe in the ground.

Fracking has been around since the 1940s, but only in recent years has it gained cultural notoriety, and, in particular, become the subject of heated debate.

In 2010, the documentary Gasland quickly earned activist acclaim for introducing Americans to the drilling practice. And in 2012, Promised Land, starring Matt Damon, premiered in theaters with a similar refrain: frackers are earth-plundering villains.

Critics rebutted both films. Gasland prompted a counter-documentary, and many from the communities portrayed in Promised Land disapproved of the film, claiming they were deceived by the filmmakers' intentions.

Furthermore, it was discovered that oil barons from the Persian Gulf ...

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February 2014

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