fracking

courtesy Purdue University

Purdue is set to receive almost $20 million from the National Science Foundation to run a research center studying what its leaders are calling “bridge fuels” – in other words, fuel made from gas that's trapped in underground rock. It's extracted through hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The researchers say it’ll be needed to satisfy the country’s demand for oil until renewable resources like wind and solar become dominant in the future.

But there was no mention of the “f-word” – fracking -- during a public celebration of the grant or in any of the promotional materials concerning it.

Tim Evanson / https://www.flickr.com/photos/23165290

Hydraulic fracturing -- fracking, for short -- has been an economic boon to such states as North Dakota. It's produced never-before-seen wealth in the form of the gas and oil released from rocks deep underground.

A new report from Purdue agricultural economists Wally Tyner and Farzad Taheripour estimates the industry could create as much as $300 billion in wealth for Americans every year through at least 2035.

A northeast Ohio well used to dispose of wastewater from oil and gas drilling almost certainly caused a series of 11 minor earthquakes in the Youngstown area since last spring, a seismologist investigating the quakes said Monday.

Research is continuing on seismic activity near the now-shuttered injection well at Youngstown, Ohio, but it might take a year for the wastewater-related rumblings in the earth to dissipate, said John Armbruster of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y.