Oil Boom Puts Strain On North Dakota Towns

Oil Drilling Rig

Oil Drilling Rig

Poster Comment: This story is about the Bakken Formation, the sister play to the Niobrara. If the Niobrara is even half as productive as the Bakken, it is hard to imagine that Colorado’s Front Range would not experience some of the same impacts.
By John McChesneyNational Public Radio – December 2, 2011

The tough economy has taken its toll on most states, putting budgets deep in the red and putting people out of work.

But North Dakota has a low 3.5 percent unemployment rate and a state budget with a billion dollar surplus. That’s because of a major oil boom in the western part of the state, a discovery of at least 2 billion barrels to be gained by fracking — the controversial process of injecting fluid deep into underground rock formations to force the oil out.

The find could be the largest ever in the lower 48 states. It’s expected to make North Dakota the third largest producer of oil after Alaska and Texas. But many residents of the oil boom region are not singing “Happy Days Are Here Again” — they’re saying “enough.”

Continue reading or listen to the rest of the story at NPR Radio

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