The Energy Revolution and Its Discontents

With all the gloomy economic news coming out of late, one bright spot flew under the radar last week: the United States is poised to be the proverbial center of the energy universe.

A recent study by Harvard Research Fellow Leonardo Maugeri found that the United States’ incredible shale reserves represent “the most important revolution in the oil sector in decades.”

Thanks to the technological revolution brought about by the combined use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the U.S. is now exploiting its huge and virtually untouched shale and tight oil fields, whose production – although still in its infancy – is already skyrocketing in North Dakota and Texas.

Few Americans are more cognizant of this energy revolution’s possibilities than those who live in the towns sitting above the nation’s largest shale formations. The Heritage Foundation traveled to Willison, North Dakota, above the massive Bakken shale, to hear first-hand how the oil boom there has improved residents’ lives.

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