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A geothermal energy company operating on private land in south-central Idaho is seeking permission from the U.S. Department of Energy to inject cold water underground to create a series of tiny earthquakes to improve well productivity. The Times-News reports that U.S. Geothermal and scientists with the University of Utah are awaiting approval from the federal agency to try the process southwest of Malta. Research professor Joseph Moore says he expects to get approval for the project within a month. Moore says the plan involves using cold water to crack quartzite below the surface, allowing channels for hot underground water in the region to be tapped to produce energy. Moore says the human-caused quakes will be so small people won’t be able to feel them.

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