As North Dakota benefits from the vast oil reserves discovered in the Bakken formation, you think NPR would find reason to cheer. With a one billion dollar budget surplus and 3.5% unemployment the state is welcoming the development, and as would be expected, there are growing pains. The author makes an honest attempt to present both sides but the entire article was framed with such a negative lens that it gives an incomplete picture as to the benefits of responsible extraction.
For example, Williams County Commission Chairman Dan Kalil is quoted as saying:
“They’re consuming all of our resources. They’re consuming all of our people looking for jobs. All the employee base is used up.”
Having too many jobs and not enough people to fill them is a problem many other places would gladly take over their own employment picture.
Kalil goes on to discuss negative impacts of the drilling on roads and other public systems but to focus on the negative when there is so much to gain seems overly pessimistic. New roads can be paved and homes can be built to overcome these temporary obstacles. You should not, however, brush aside the direct and indirect economic benefits that come to both native North Dakotans and new residents who are flocking to the state to take advantage of these new opportunities.
We should not rush into development without understanding the consequences, but to ignore the positive benefits is equally as irresponsible.