Photograph by Les Stone
An open question for consideration: suppose that the United States' massive natural gas reserves were located exclusively beneath urban sites. Would these regions encounter hydraulic fracturing? Would the practice exponentially increase across the metropolitan areas of Dallas or Boston as it has in rural America?
Would the political and cultural rhetoric which unites both sides of the "fracking" debate assume a different shape? What might this tell us about the place, and the value, of rural America within these debates?
Feel free to join this hypothetical discussion on our Arts and Culture Feed.
Many thanks to Les Stone for permission to reprint his extraordinary work; please find larger, high resolution examples of these images at his photoblog and also at his official site, which presents a range of work from West Virginia to Haiti.