There are many downsides to hydraulic fracturing and the natural gas it's used to harvest, but for the people who work in America's booming oil and gas fields there's a positive that outweighs a lot of the problems other people worry about. At High Country News, Jonathan Thompson writes about the financial benefits fracking holds for families, especially those where the people working don't have a college degree. With fewer and fewer well-paid manufacturing jobs, hydrocarbons are one of the few industries left where your job can improve your kid's chances of reaching a higher income bracket.

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  1. Brainspore

    Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
    A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,
    Then one day he was ruminating on his class,
    And up through the shale came a bubblin gas.

    Methane, that is. Greenhouse gold, Appalacian air freshener.

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