The Obama Administration betting big on enhanced geothermal systems, a new drilling technique that could boost geothermal power to 10 percent of America’s total portfolio. But it also could increase the risk of earthquakes. Correspondent Dan Goldstein goes to California and Oregon to investigate if this technique is shaky, or if it’s on solid ground.
Dan interviews a geophysicist with a federal grant to study the connection between EGS and earthquakes and a man who was prosecuted over a geothermal project that was blamed for an earthquake in Switzerland. The CEO and chief geologist of AltaRock Energy explain how they hope to use EGS revitalize a geyser site in Northern California to generate large amounts of electricity. But first they have to test EGS technology in a remote part of Oregon, where earthquakes are unlikely to be felt. Dan talks to the head of that project, who explains how it will work.