Monday, April 16, 2012

Booming North Dakota

Jay Nordlinger has an article in the National Review that you may find interesting. We live in the middle of the Bakken and I find his article to be 'right on' - The only exception I can take to his commentary is that the infrastructure is NOT receiving the money it needs.

Roads, in particular, are literally falling apart. Huge holes exist in the pavement of many roads in northwestern North Dakota—holes large enough for a car to drop into and not be able to get out of. In some places gravel roads are cess pools, traps awaiting the unwary - unnegotiable without 4-wheel drive and even then, one can sink so deep that getting out requires the effort of a major sized crane.

The 25 ton gravel and oil trucks that move constantly, day and night, to and from wells to distribution points have torn what once was a modern road system into fragmented, dangerous byways and the state has NOT allotted sufficient funds nor manpower to repair what private enterprise has destroyed.

Here are the first couple of paragraphs of the article and the link so that you can read the rest of what Nordlinger has to say:

"FOR many years, North Dakota has been the least visited state in the Union. There are no real tourist attractions here; Mount Rushmore is in South Dakota. The late newsman Eric Sevareid, who was born in North Dakota, called his native state “a large, rectangular blank spot in the nation’s mind.” But reporters from all over the world have been coming here lately, because North Dakota boasts one of the most interesting and exciting stories in the country: an honest-to-goodness boom.

The state has the lowest unemployment rate in the country, at 3.1 percent. Some wonder who could be out of work, given all the “Help Wanted” signs. North Dakota is No. 1 in job growth and No. 1 in income growth. At the heart of this prosperity is the Bakken formation, located in the northwestern part of the state. It’s a vast pot of oil. “Bakken,” incidentally, rhymes with “rockin’.” They have a bumper sticker here: “Rockin’ the Bakken.”