North Dakota wasn’t always one of the riches state due to the oil industry.
Under Gov. Art Link, in the late 70’s and early 80’s, he closed the oil fields in the Western part of the state. For reason, I don’t fully understand. All I can say, “he was a Democrat.”
Anyway, when the oil fields were closed, cities like Dickenson and Williston became almost like a ghost town. They were drying up and loosing people right and left.
Since the oil boom, both Dickerson and Williston had grown quite a bit.
Not only did the oil boom help those 2 cities grow; it puts North Dakota on the map and be noticed. It’s still a fly over state; but at least it’s finally being recognize for something.
People would link North Dakota to South Dakota; and there was talk of merging the 2 states and making it into 1.
Another State that North Dakota was link to was Minnesota. For example: I had an Aunt who thought that North Dakota and Minnesota was the same state; and she was from Casselton before moving out West to Seattle.
It was hard to keep the young people in the state after they graduated from either high school or college. There was really no jobs in their fields.
Ever since Ed Shaffer was governor of North Dakota, the state’s economy was booming. He opened the oil fields again. He worked to bring jobs into this state to keep the young people in. Of course, he was Republican also. Since Shaffer, the state of North Dakota had a Republican governor. Before Shaffer, the Republicans couldn’t get elected governor of the state.
This blog isn’t about Shaffer or the Republicans controlling the Governor. It’s about the oil boom in the state.
As good and important the oil boom was to the state of North Dakota’s economy, for putting the state on the map, for job prospects, and for bringing new businesses in to fight to keep our young people in the state. It wasn’t all perfect.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy for that.
Some of the downfall of reopening the oil fields are as followed.
I actually believe that the oil company had taken advantage of North Dakota’s naïve. I mean, as the title said, “Black Gold-Texas Tease,” who haven’t seen the original Beverly Hillbillies? The oil company took advantage of the characters, because they saw them as bunch of hillbillies and hicks. I actually thinks, the oil company saw the people in North Dakota as being a bunch of rednecks; that they could take advantage of. Because of that we weren’t prepared for what came out the oil boom.
First of all, I’m glad that we are harvesting our own resources. It keeps us from being dependent on Foreign oils. It keeps us from dealing with terrorists. It keeps us from dealing with the enemies of Israel. It’s boost the economy of North Dakota and made the state competitive with other states, such as Texas.
There are things that came out of this oil boom that cause me to be alarmed.
One of the things it did, it brought in a bunch of riff raffs and crimes. Not everybody is qualified to work the oil fields. It’s a hard and dirty job. The crime rates had risen since the oil boom. It’s getting to the point I don’t feel safe being out after dark in Fargo anymore.
The cost of living in the Western part of the state is much higher now. People on fixed incomes cannot afford to live there anymore. There was poll that showed that to rent an apartment in Williston cost as much if not more than New York City.
I remembered hearing because of the oil boom out west, the Bismarck Kmart store had a hard time in hiring help. They would just put the box of product out on the floor, because they had no help to stock the shelves. The reason was because of the pay didn’t match the cost of living.
I remembered when I took the train heading out West for a vacation. The train would go by Williston and the oil fields work camps. I mean, you could see those camps from the train as it went by. It looks like a slum area. It was worse than the old west. It was even worse than the inner city of Indianapolis; when I went there for a work & witness trip.
I think this is one of the reason the homeless population is as high in the state of North Dakota. The people are coming up to the state for jobs because they hear that the state is busting with jobs, due to the oil boom.
Like I said earlier, not everyone is able to work the oil fields. Not everyone can work these jobs that is being created by new businesses coming into the state. Some may have to do blue-collar work to make a living.
Even with the surplus, those in our state government don’t want to raise wages. Then they wondered why people have to work 2-3 jobs to make a living. They wondered why alcoholism is a big problem in the state. Some are even working past retirement age and/or until they die.
I won’t go into that because that is a whole different blog.
I didn’t mention the Keystone Pipeline because I’m saving it for next week blog; which will be part 2. Here is a clue to part 2: Who it may be about may surprise you.