Lydia Gilbertson | Shale Plays Media
Pulitzer Prize winning web publication, InsideClimate News, posted an expose by Nicholas Kusnetz examining the correlations between the oil industry and North Dakota’s government. The report thoroughly examines the effect the oil boom has had not only on the state’s infrastructure but its government officials and colleges.
Put another way, the state’s modern history has been rewritten by the energy industry in just four short years. And while few want to argue with the prosperity—the cascading cash, the budget surplus, the new hospital wing, the abundant jobs—the clout and swagger of the oil companies, arguably the most powerful force in modern politics, has unsettled the traditionally amicable and moderate politics of this state of just 725,000 people. Whether through campaign cash, charitable donations or larger contributions to the economy, the industry has gained a level of influence that’s hard to overstate. Each significant attempt to tighten regulatory oversight or restrict some of the industry’s more wasteful practices in the last legislative session either failed or passed only after being stripped of its core. Any talk about clamping down on the pace of drilling has been quickly snuffed out.
The article features interviews with many government officials, college professors, activists, and ranchers whose land is being developed by the industry.
Read the whole report: How a Sudden Flood of Oil Money has Transformed North Dakota