Gas and oil extraction using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is at the heart of the recent U.S. oil and gas boom. Here, an oil field on the Monterey Shale formation in McKittrick, Calif. David McNew/Getty Images hide caption

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NPR's Jackie Northam on the Maersk McKinney Moller, a new container megaship that can carry about double what many other big cargo ships can carry. It's 20 stories high and four football fields long. Jackie Northam/NPR hide caption

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A container ship docked at Port Elizabeth in New Jersey. No one on the pier knows for sure what exactly the containers carry — anything from frozen chicken to computers. Jonathan Blakley/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jonathan Blakley/NPR

Paul Gibson works on the Geo-Spring hybrid water heater at General Electric's Louisville, Ky., plant. For many years, GE outsourced manufacturing of the water heater to a company in China. But in 2009, it decided to bring production back to the U.S. Jackie Northam/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jackie Northam/NPR

The Japanese drinks company Suntory plans to buy Beam Inc., which includes Jim Beam and Maker's Mark bourbon. They are shown next to Suntory's Yamazaki and Hakushu whiskies at Suntory headquarters in Tokyo on Tuesday. The deal makes Suntory one of the world's leading drinks companies in an industry where a handful of companies increasingly dominate the global market. Issei Kato/Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Issei Kato/Reuters/Landov

A view of the Panama Canal last Thursday. The canal is being widened to accommodate larger ships, but the builders and the canal operators are locked in a dispute about who will pay the higher-than-expected costs to finish the project. Alejandro Bolivar/EPA /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Alejandro Bolivar/EPA /Landov