While exploring literature works on the spillover effects of North Dakota’s Oil boom, article works ‘North Dakota’s Oil boom brings damage along with prosperity’ by Nicholas Kusnetz and ‘North Dakota’s Oil boom is a blessing and a curse’ by Ryan Holeywell have been noted to widely discuss issues that have been brought about by the discovery of oil in the once remote state of North Dakot. In relation to bursts in economic effects and social issues, the two articles detail significant differences in the region providing deep insight on how life in North Dakota is now comparing to how it was before the first geologist oil discovery in 1951. In attempt to deliver this, the two articles have particularly detailed evidence of unsustainable pace of growth in the region. Being part of two-sided effects of the oil drilling being a blessing and a curse, the region has been characterized by adverse economic effects, dumping of drilling waste into the regions lands and dispiriting of Locals result of an array of changes the boom brought to the region.
In his article “North Dakota’s Oil boom brings damage along with prosperity,” Nicholas Kusnetz talks about the economic benefits in expanded drilling of oil that have provided turnaround fortunes for the state’s fortunes. In addition to that, new technologies in horizontal drilling have also provided fortunes for the overall U.S oil production industry result of North Dakota becoming a domestic energy production state. Nicholas continues to detail how the high price tags in efficient technological techniques have been made economically possible keeping in mind the absurd prices of a single barrel of crude oil hovering around $100 (2). U.S oil production growth for the first time in a quarter century has been greatly attributed to oil drilling in North Dakota . Now ranking second in nationwide oil output, North Dakota has affirmed greater energy independence in the United States with the state now pumping an estimate of 575,000 barrels of oil in a day. Considered as a blessing, this double of oil production from two years ago has enormously benefited the state of North Dakota with generation of an estimated $839 million (2001) from taxes on the industry. In addition to this the once stagnant economy of North Dakota has been reinvigorated resulting to low unemployment rates of 3 percent.

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Nicholas Kusnetz (4) explores the animosity that has been brought about by oil drilling in North Dakota. Major focus on his argument is on the spilling and dumping of drilling waste onto the region’s waterways and land. Following set precautionary standards, drillers are expected to inject waste materials into disposal wells thousands of feet underground but often this waste don’t get disposed of that far. In addition to this, Kasnetz illustrated negative effects to the environment that are accredited to accidental releases of oil, drilling wastewater and other fluids. Providing data from ProPublica, Kasnetz details how in 2011 reports of accidental oil releases spiked to 1000 cases. Resulting to adverse negative effects to the region, the report describes how the cases were result of the leaking of waste material into the ground and water ways consequential of unethical management in containment at the accident sites. Also playing a role in the unethical disposal of drilling waste material are truckers. Ryan Holeywell (5) describes how truckers dump wastewater materials rather than waiting in line at injection. Not only does this dumping lead to absurd costs to the North Dakota state in managing the spills, the regions land is overtime degraded.

The unsustainable pace of growth has evidently described the dilemma that North Dakota’s local community has faced. Ryan Holeywell (7) details this by describing how the recent discovery of oil wells has brought about struggles in the region that are affecting the locals in a variety of ways. Ryan notes that most of the prevailing struggles has been the shortage of housing in the region. Since the commencement of oil drilling, the homeless population in North Dakota has been steadily increasing. Result of masses of people flocking into the state to look for oil related jobs, Ryan describes how the boom has led to high rents withdrawing house developments from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development which are advocates for low-income programs to facilitate low housing rates. Another disastrous impact of the boom has been the damage of the county’s road system. Initially, the roads were designed for farm-to-market travel but the use of the roads by big trucks to access rigs and wells has led to the destruction of the roadways.

Due to developments in the region, visiting North Dakota can arise a feeling like of one visiting an alternative universe considering that the nation is on continuous struggle to reel from the recession. However, situated literature review has defined the recent boom in North Dakota being of double-edged. Spikes in gas prices and new technologies in drilling have provided a wide array of economic benefits but this prosperity has been accompanied by unanticipated problems. Constituting these problems has been a wide array of negative effects to the region. Most crucial has been the effect drilling waste has had to the environment. Moreover, the boom has brought about housing problems and the destruction of roads making life in North Dakota not seem satisfying as many could assume.

  • Holeywell, Ryan. “North Dakota’s Oil Boom is a Blessing and a Curse.” (2011).
  • Kusnetz, Nicholas. “North Dakota’s Oil Boom Brings Damage Along With Prosperity.” (2012).