The story of the fracking revolution and ensuing boom also suggests the importance of progressive adaptation of government policies as a technology and its scale of implementation move from infancy to maturity. After a technology has become established, private actors might no longer need facilitators of innovation such as tax or regulatory relief to use and further refine it. Further, failure to recalibrate regulation in light of large increases in a technology’s use can risk not only immediate economic and environmental harm but also a backlash that could stymie technological development for decades. Local backlash against fracking and related activities has already occurred, and even the city of Denton, Texas, located in the heart of the area where Mitchell Energy made its shale gas breakthroughs, has voted to ban fracking.


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