The turnaround is part of a transformation spreading across the heartland of the nation, driven by a surge in domestic oil and gas production that is changing the economic calculus for old industries and downtrodden cities alike.
Washington is facing growing international pressure to ease its long standing ban on crude oil exports, with South Korea and Mexico joining the European Union in pressing the case for U.S. oil shipments overseas.
When Jessica Ullom goes to work, she dons a white hard hat, safety glasses, metatarsal boots, and a portable gas monitor. Most of her days are spent in the rural fields of Western Pennsylvania, overseeing the environmental conditions at well sites.
Royal Dutch Shell, which has been reshuffling its shale gas portfolio in the U.S., announced three major deals this week, one of which adds 155,000 acres to its hot spot in northeastern Pennsylvania where the company is among the first to bet on the Utica Shale.