Watching Government: DOE's guiding role

Nick SnowWashington EditorA US Department of Energy official made two things clear to a House Science, Space, and Technology Committee subcommittee on Apr. 6: First, federally funded basic research laid the foundation for the successful use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling to recover natural gas from tight shale formations and second, the Obama administration considers that role inappropriate in improving offshore oil and gas safety and environmental protection processes.DOE's Acting Asst. Sec. for Fossil Energy Victor Der pointed out to the committee's Energy and Environment Subcommittee that $137 million of basic research in the 1970s and '80s set the stage for technologi...

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