The decade-long shale fracking boom in North Dakota sent the population of oil patch communities soaring. They built up their public services to accommodate the newcomers, but now many of these cities are tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. They’re looking for stable funding to pay back their loans while hoping all the newcomers choose to stay.
America’s thirst for oil is as strong as ever. And thanks to a giant boom in North Dakota, more U.S. oil is extracted at home. That’s turned some cattle ranchers into millionaires, a few oil bosses into billionaires and put money in the pockets of working people.
High Country News | From coal in Wheatland, Wyoming in 1977, to uranium in Grants, New Mexico in 1985, to natural gas in Rifle, Colorado in 2008, HCN’s coverage documents the “spasmodic economic history” of Western energy.
The United States has been experiencing an oil and gas boom for the last five years. It has helped the country’s economic recovery and created thousands of jobs for people in states like North Dakota, Wyoming and Texas. But although booms are often heralded for the economic opportunities they provide, they also have a darker side.
Think of oil and gas towns and family-oriented probably doesn’t come to mind. They’re more likely to conjured images of transient workers, crime and RV parks. But plenty of oilfield workers do move to town with their families