Watching Government: The road to breakthroughs

Occasionally, it's good to remember that decades of research and development normally precede technological breakthroughs. Such efforts are required to lay the foundation for dramatic "Aha!" moments, such as the first time hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling were successfully combined to produce natural gas from tight shale formations. "Research enabled this revolution," Ron Edelstein, regulatory and government relations director at the Gas Technology Institute, said on Apr. 10. "But you couldn't do this kind of research in the laboratory. You had to do it in the field." Industry led the way, with significant government support, he told an audience a...

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