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Hydraulic fracturing has unleashed a boom in both oil and natural gas production which has caused the United States to become the largest producers of oil and natural gas in the world. While hydraulic fracturing has been used since 1947, its wide-scale application caught many industries and policymakers by surprise. Even former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan suggested the United States increase its imports of liquid natural gas (LNG) to keep natural gas prices low. As a result, certain sectors are experiencing some “growing pains” associated with competing with the energy sector for transportation services such as trucking and hauling freight by train.
One of the sectors that has felt some of this pain is agriculture, as trains hauling frac sand and oil to and from North Dakota have resulted in delays in the transportation of grain and other agricultural products. Research Fellow Isaac Orr and Jessica Sena from the Montana Petroleum Association discuss some of the challenges associated with the “growing pains” of increasing oil and natural gas production in the United States, and some of the potential solutions, including building more pipelines.