Decades of federal dollars helped fuel gas boom
Written byKEVIN BEGOS, Associated Press
It sounds like a free-market success story: a natural gas boom created by drilling company innovation, delivering a vast new source of cheap energy without the government subsidies that solar and wind power demand.
But those who helped pioneer the technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, recall a different path. Over three decades, from the shale fields of Texas and Wyoming to the Marcellus in the Northeast, the federal government contributed more than $100 million in research to develop fracking, and billions more in tax breaks.
Now, those industry pioneers say their own effort shows that the government should back research into future sources of energy - for decades, if need be - to promote breakthroughs. For all its success now, many people in the oil and gas industry itself once thought shale gas was a waste of time.VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE