Role of federal government in natural gas boom debated

“President Barack Obama claimed that public research dollars helped develop the technology to extract gas from shale rock, but some in the industry don’t remember it that way.”

The Oklahoman reports,

President Barack Obama’s embrace of natural gas this week came with a claim that the federal government is at least partly responsible for the abundant supply brought to market in recent years.

“And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock — reminding us that government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground,” the president said Tuesday in his State of the Union address.

Industry experts say the federal government was involved in research — both directly and through tax credits to private companies — though there’s some question about how much help it provided in advancing the breakthroughs that led to the shale gas revolution…

Read the entire Oklahoman report.