The energy revolution we’ve been privileged to embrace over the past almost-ten years has been nothing short of remarkable. Western North Dakota has been transformed from poor to wealthy, from surviving to thriving, from a national after thought… to national and even world relevance. We are the standard bearer for creating a friendly, energy-development environment and regulatory system built on trust and integrity.
The system worked; we are better for it. The oil business has gained a strong foothold, and the future looks as secure as it ever has…. even in this volatile industry. But if you want to claim the process has been all sunshine and lollipops, I’d prefer you just not speak at all. Our landscape has been turned over and lit up and generally not in the most aesthetically pleasing manner. We have some bad actors out there that give us sound reason to pause, and the risk to our other natural resources should not be dismissed offhandedly.
It’s in that light that I’d recommend you take the time to read the in-depth series on North Dakota’s oil boom recently published by the New York Times. Whatever your impression of that publication, the issues raised in these pieces are worthy of our attention and deserving of more community discourse. It might just be conceivable that the policies and procedures that were so successful in getting the industry off the ground are not exactly the same as the policies and procedures that will serve us best as we enter a new stage in our energy development.
I’m not saying turn the ship, I’m saying… we’ve reached a point where it wouldn’t hurt to have the discussion.
Here are the links to the New York Times articles:
Rob Port at Say Anything Blog provided some needed oversight for the New York Times. There was a significant mistake in the second story regarding the timing and motives surrounding the redistricting of Ryan Taylor’s district. Read his take on their articles here and here.