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Third Place
Matt McClain Rocky Mountain News
"Western Boom"

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  The western United States is currently experiencing one of the largest natural gas booms in history. Foreign oil dependency is helping drive natural gas production throughout parts of Colorado. The growth is causing environmental concerns as chemicals used in the production process are being questioned by environmentalists. Oil and gas production is also being blamed for interruptions in animal migration patterns. As Colorado takes in millions in leasing dollars, many are worried that the environmental future of the state is being mortgaged for short term financial gains. As a gas drilling rig begins to light up the evening sky, Katrina West, 5, plays on a swing set in the backyard of her grandparents Oxford Farms home of outside Erie, Colo.


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