North Dakota’s Oil Boom Creates Job Boom For Archaeologists

On the list of movers and shakers in North Dakota’s booming oil industry is a group that might surprise you: archaeologists. A recent report by the Associated Press goes behind the curtain of the natural gas and petroleum surge to look at what they call the “rare jobs bonanza” for teams of archeologists and engineers who have to clear the land before the drilling rigs come in:
But across the hyperactive oil fields of North Dakota, these and other groups have to wait for another team of specialists known for slow, meticulous study: archaeologists. Much of the land being drilled in North Dakota is federal land where an archaeological survey is required.  According to the AP,  the number of official historic sites in the state has nearly tripled in the last five years — growing from 826 in 2009 to a whopping 2,260 in 2013. “Those sites include forgotten settler cemeteries with graves marked in foreign languages, abandoned homesteader farms and stone circles put in place by American Indians thousands of years ago,” as the AP tells it.

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead

White House to Crack Down On Power Plant Emissions

Power plants are among the largest carbon dioxide emitters, and on June 2, the Obama administration is scheduled to release new rules regulating those emissions. The predicted effects of continuing to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at current rates range from dramatic sea level rise to extreme weather to famine and drought. Utilities and trade groups are already warning those rules will have some dire consequences of their own. A recent radio ad from the National Mining Association suggested that electricity rates would double if “extreme new Obama administration power plant regulations take effect.”

The Washington Post’s FactChecker blog gave the ad four Pinocchios for that, saying it’s “wholly unsupported.”

Industry concerns about the regulations are real, though. “This will probably be the largest rule in EPA history in terms of cost,” says Dan Byers, with the US Chamber of Commerce.