North Dakota where "drill, baby drill" means full employment

Winningreen Issue Alert                    A100311

North Dakota — where “drill, baby, drill” translates into full employment

By Gretchen Randall

Date: October 3, 2011

Issue:
Harold Hamm, an Oklahoma oil man, is credited with discovering the vast oil fields in North Dakota and Montana known as the Bakken deposits.   Hamm tells the Wall St. Journal he believes the U.S. could become the “Saudi Arabia of oil and natural gas in the 21st century.”  Because of the Bakken discovery, North Dakota’s unemployment rate is the lowest in the country at 3.5% as thousands have moved to the state to work in the oil fields.  Housing is reportedly becoming scarce and according to the Journal there remain 18,000 unfilled jobs each paying over $60,000.

Hamm attributes the renaissance in U.S. oil exploration to two reasons.  The first is that OPEC no longer controls the oil market and cannot drive oil prices lower to keep out competition as it did in the 1970s.  That has allowed U.S. production to grow so that we now import only about half of the oil we use instead of over sixty percent during the Clinton administration.

The second reason for the increase in production is that there are now new drilling techniques such as horizontal drilling that make it easier for rigs to access oil thousands of feet away from the well head. This means less of a footprint but also means more oil can be accessed than previously.  For instance, Hamm’s company has increased its earliest projection of oil in its Bakken fields from 118 million barrels in 2006 to 421 million barrels this year.  According to Hamm, “Bakken is almost twice as big as the oil reserve in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska” leading him to predict that if the U.S. had the correct energy policy the country could be energy independent within a decade.

However, the Obama administration continues to push alternative fuels such as wind, solar and electric cars instead of increasing oil and gas production which could provide immediate jobs.   The Interior Department delays drilling permits for months and President Obama calls for raising taxes on oil and gas companies instead of encouraging more production which would bring in increased state and federal taxes.

Comment:  It is obvious to many Americans that Obama doesn’t want to put people to work but instead wants the federal government to help his donors by giving them guaranteed loans, spending money we don’t have and putting the American way of life at risk.

Comment:  Just think what would happen if we turned this Hamm guy loose on federal lands, especially those with oil shale deposits.  We might even defund terrorists in the process and pay down the national debt.

Background and links: Read the entire interview with Harold Hamm at: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204226204576602524023932438.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_LEADTop
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Contact: Gretchen Randall
Winningreen LLC
Chicago, IL
Phone: 773-857-5086
e-mail: grandall@winningreen.com