Washington looks to North Dakota for economic, energy blueprint

posted at 8:31 am on July 14, 2012 by Rob Bluey

North Dakota isn’t your typical destination for members of Congress on a July weekend. But that’s where you’ll find members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on Saturday. They’re gathering for a hearing on job creation.

No state has done a better job of creating jobs than North Dakota. It has the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 3 percent and leads all states with the fastest-growing household income in America over the past few years.

It’s no secret what’s happening in North Dakota. The economic success is the result of an oil boom in the Bakken Shale Formation. It has helped North Dakota surpass both California and Alaska to become the second-biggest oil-producing state.

Members of Congress spent Friday in Oklahoma reviewing burdensome and unnecessary regulations on energy production. They’re heading to North Dakota in hopes of finding a blueprint for America’s energy future. It’s a good place to explore.

The state’s success is attributable to sensible regulations, the often-maligned fracking process and drilling that’s taking place on private lands. The Heritage Foundation and Institute for Energy Research recently visited North Dakota to produce a short video that highlights how the oil boom has changed the lives of local residents and others who have flocked to the state for work.

Susan Gordon moved from California with her daughter to open the WildcatZ Grill in Tioga, ND. “We saw the opportunity for both of us to come here and make something of it,” she said. “Back in California the opportunity wouldn’t have been such.”

North Dakota was one of only 14 states (and the District of Columbia) to experience a rise in household income between 2005 and 2010, according to the most recent Census data. The overall U.S. average during that time declined 4.4 percent.

Energy production is working in other states as well. Colorado, West Virginia and Wyoming rounded out the top five. See chart below and complete ranking of all 50 states.

North Dakota’s success is why lawmakers are meeting at North Dakota State University in Fargo to hear directly from job creators. Witnesses include a handful of energy executives.

It’s also an opportunity to remind Americans that President Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, which could have benefited North Dakota. According to the committee, Bakken oil is transported on rail and by truck, which are more expensive and less safe than a pipeline.

Rob Bluey directs the Center for Media and Public Policy, an investigative journalism operation at The Heritage Foundation. Follow him on Twitter: @RobertBluey


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Frakking like most industries requires common sense regulation/oversight that protects consumers,environment and business interests…but like most Texans I think local oversight is preferable in balance with federal (The feds keep allowing the enviro nuts in California to dictate the standards for everybody)

Texas tries public/private partnerships to cleanup…and it has mostly worked for us cause it’s good business. We also have no interest in being California (Outside of liberal Austin that is)

Right now we are growing so fast in population it’s putting a serious strain on municipalities…but as other states continue to grow like ND more folks will move there and other prosperous states can take up the migration slack.

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I pray that the country says “frack you” to obambi and a slew of dimocrats in November.

VegasRick on July 14, 2012 at 12:57 PM

The black population of DC has been fleeing in droves. Just barely 50% black in 2010, while it waS 70% in 1980s. The district is rapidly gentrifying, with white hipsters replacing poor blacks. This, more than anything, explains the increase in median income there

DaveO on July 14, 2012 at 1:05 PM

The Industry has addressed it and Frakking is safe if the drilling company follows the industry safety standards with the quality of piping,construction and cementing/sealing the well. The chemicals are safe.

Texas & OK have been frakking for decades…over a million wells across the country.

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 12:34 PM

Everything is safe “if”. The problem is that there are a number of incidents where it appears that operators either willfully or through negligence or bad luck have screwed up. Settlements are hushed up, through confidentiality agreements.

The industry is stonewalling, even as anecdotal evidence increases that even if the process itself is theoretically safe, the execution has been flawed. What might be minor problems in North Dakota, or West Texas, where there are relatively few people relatively little water and relatively little development, can be a big deal in more densley populated areas like PA and Western New York.

One of my farmer buddies worked for Halliburton and is an avid hunter and fisherman — hardly a leftist environmentalist — but even she is worried.

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

The UK’s Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Engineering have found fracing to be safe if properly done. We are always told by the left that scientists are infallible, and this is what their scientists say.

juliesa on July 14, 2012 at 1:28 PM

I retired early because my job was disappearing. I just may look into North Dakota!

PattyJ on July 14, 2012 at 1:37 PM

If you slash taxes but don’t fund decent public education, for example, you hurt growth. If you have lax environmental regulations, people get cancer. urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 12:28 PM

So, speaking of funding public education, you think we need to increase taxes so we can throw more money at it while still allowing the NEA/government/ public union complex to administer it? Is that why Obama shut down the charter school for poor ghetto kids in D.C.? How’s that been working out?
As far as government regs on enviormental issues, I keep thinking back to the EPA supervisor and his crucify to make an example speech. BTW, he is now working for the Sierra Club. With a few exceptions, federal oversight always leads to political payoffs. The spoils system with no accountability. At least, state and local oversight offers some hope of corrective action on system abuse.

a capella on July 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM

Don’t forget D.C. is tops only due to proximity to the Federal Government, similar to the richest counties in the republic being near D.C.. Increase of migration over past 20 years has been rediculous.

John Kettlewell on July 14, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Everything is safe “if”.

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Elitist,
Please stop driving your car, flying in planes, riding busses, riding trains, using toilet paper. These activities are all very dangerous “if”……

NOMOBO on July 14, 2012 at 1:58 PM

What might be minor problems in North Dakota, or West Texas, where there are relatively few people relatively little water and relatively little development, can be a big deal in more densley populated areas like PA and Western New York.

One of my farmer buddies worked for Halliburton and is an avid hunter and fisherman — hardly a leftist environmentalist — but even she is worried.

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

Ever heard of the Barnett Shale?
Ft Worth, Texas is smack in the middle of it…although known as CowTown because of it’s history as a cattle trail crossroads, it is hardly a small town (Part of the sprawling DFW Metroplex) and was the fastest growing large city in the US for the years 2000-2006.

Oh and there’s frakking there…yep

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 2:01 PM

I’ve told my son

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 9:42 AM

urban elitist,
It truly is frightening that you have actually procreated. I hope your son has more sense than you do.

NOMOBO on July 14, 2012 at 2:14 PM

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

and what makes you think that water rich states care more about their water?

Sheeesh…obviously you’ve never been to the southwest. You should go sometime…great folks,lots of pretty country & great history.

Those folks care a great deal about their water…enough to sign a tri-state treaty (NM,CO,TX) to protect the Rio Grande as an historic American waterway.

NM,AZ,NV,UT,OK,CO,TX care just as much about water as folks in water rich states like PA or NY.

If anything we don’t take water for granted down here but are accustomed through our history to deal as best we can with occasional drought…Nobody comes to Texas expecting mild and predictable weather.

Texans care enough about our water that we began to learn new conservation/management policies and technology from those damned smart Israelis in a trade pact from the 90′s initiated by the then newly elected AG Comm. Rick Perry.

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

blink on July 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM

Let me explain for urban myth elitist.

Whenever a well receives a permit, in any state, the company receives a permit. In order to receive a permit, all of what is to be done has to be approved upfront by the state regulatory agency.

So that includes seismic data of the geological formations involved, how the well is going to be drilled and its entire intended path, what protections and how it will be cased (with steel and concrete in layers) and how it will be completed (which if hydraulic fracturing is intended how it will be done and with what).

In short in states with long histories of drilling and production, it is more controlled than a permit to build an outhouse, or dig a hole and set a fence post. It’s been that way long before the morons in DC influenced by their envirowhacko friends (who they fund) started opening up their yappers.

Kermit on July 14, 2012 at 2:51 PM

Did I mistakenly use permit a few too many times?

Kermit on July 14, 2012 at 2:52 PM

blink on July 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM
workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Right on, right on, right on !!

From this Barnett shale dividend recipient, in Arlington TX.

pambi on July 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM

So, speaking of funding public education, you think we need to increase taxes so we can throw more money at it while still allowing the NEA/government/ public union complex to administer it? Is that why Obama shut down the charter school for poor ghetto kids in D.C.? How’s that been working out?

As far as government regs on enviormental issues, I keep thinking back to the EPA supervisor and his crucify to make an example speech. BTW, he is now working for the Sierra Club. With a few exceptions, federal oversight always leads to political payoffs. The spoils system with no accountability. At least, state and local oversight offers some hope of corrective action on system abuse.

a capella on July 14, 2012 at 1:45 PM
Sorry, you you destroy your own credibility when you say “shut down the charter school for poor ghetto kids in D.C.” The DC charter school system is flourishing, with 33 thousand kids — about 40% of all DC public school kids in charter schools, with both the absolute number of kids and the percentage of the total climbing steadily.

The fig leaf program which you — in your ignorance — refer to as a charter program was created as a PR stunt by Republicans trying to embarrass the teachers union and pretend that they actually give a damn about poor urban black kids. It was imposed on the city by Congress. If Congressional Republicans want to work with city officials to create a real program that addresses systemic problems, I’m willing to listen. In the mean time, were putting real reform into action and we don;t want to be a part of John Boehner’s photo op.

State and local oversight is a joke. The level of bozohood, ignorance and venality in Washington is exceeded only by that in state capitals across the country, where it’s much cheaper to own your own chamber of the state legislature. The reason Washington exists is because state governemnts — in the realm of environmental legislation, among other things — are worse than useless.

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 3:17 PM

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

and what makes you think that water rich states care more about their water?

Sheeesh…obviously you’ve never been to the southwest. You should go sometime…great folks,lots of pretty country & great history.

Those folks care a great deal about their water…enough to sign a tri-state treaty (NM,CO,TX) to protect the Rio Grande as an historic American waterway.

NM,AZ,NV,UT,OK,CO,TX care just as much about water as folks in water rich states like PA or NY.

If anything we don’t take water for granted down here but are accustomed through our history to deal as best we can with occasional drought…Nobody comes to Texas expecting mild and predictable weather.

Texans care enough about our water that we began to learn new conservation/management policies and technology from those damned smart Israelis in a trade pact from the 90′s initiated by the then newly elected AG Comm. Rick Perry.

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

the point was that spills and pollution spread more rapidly and are harder to contain when there is more water. I lived in Colorado for two years, I am well away of how valuable western water is. I apologize for being unclear.

It truly is frightening that you have actually procreated. I hope your son has more sense than you do.

NOMOBO on July 14, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Heh. He’s off to work a Senate race this fall. For the Democrat, of course. S

First, only an idiot would suggest that an operator “willfully” screws up. Is that your opinion of people in the oil business – that they risk financial ruin and criminal prosecution in order to deliberately harm the environment?

They willfully cut corners, assuming that there will be no repercussions You may have heard of the Deepwater Horizon.

The industry isn’t stonewalling at all. The industry is desperately showing all the data in order to prove the obvious.

The industry is settling numerous claims while demanding gag orders as part of the settlement.

No, the fracking execution hasn’t been flawed at all. Again, the incidents that occurred had nothing to do with fracking – other than the fact that the flawed wells happened to be fracked. Those wells would have been just as flawed even if they hadn’t been fracked.

They had nothing to do with fracking except that if there hadn’t been fracking, there wouldn’t have been a problem.

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 3:24 PM

blink on July 14, 2012 at 2:13 PM
workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Right on, right on, right on !!

From this Barnett shale dividend recipient, in Arlington TX.

pambi on July 14, 2012 at 3:05 PM

Good for you…your neighbors towards the east, citizens living in the D in DFW are just shy of said shale…but that’s the luck of the draw I guess. Glad ya’ll approved the drilling years ago cause it’s been good for each of you and our great state.

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 3:25 PM

I lived in Colorado for two years, I am well away of how valuable western water is. I apologize for being unclear.
urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 3:24 PM

Thanks for the clarification.

Look it’s real simple.

Back in the day environmentalists and consumer activists did some great things to alert the public to safety concerns.

Then they became corrupted industries in themselves with tyrannical agendas that allows them to justify lying and confusing the public. Their tactics are obnoxious as hell.
They have relinquished any credibility they might have had for public concern.

Most of this is handled better at the local level allowing citizens to decide their own business and states can agree to co-operate or they can use the courts to arbitrate.

The Federal EPA has become a political score settling tool of a corrupt DC.

That’s pretty obvious down here in Texas.

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 3:36 PM

State and local oversight is a joke. The level of bozohood, ignorance and venality in Washington is exceeded only by that in state capitals across the country, where it’s much cheaper to own your own chamber of the state legislature. The reason Washington exists is because state governemnts — in the realm of environmental legislation, among other things — are worse than useless.

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 3:17 PM

That depends on the state.

In Texas we cleaned up our air on our own & when the EPA had a hissy fit we won our case in the Supreme Court by proving the EPA was acting like politically driven moonbats using faulty theory and crooked technology.

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 3:42 PM

I very seldom post here but this is right up my alley. I have been in the business for over 35 years. We were fracking wells when I broke out,in fact very few wells are gushers. The basic difference is the chemicals used to stimulate the formation.
I am currently working in ND since the work here at home (sw WY) went away in Nov. 2008. The rig count decreased 50% almost overnite.
The most important thing in this current boom in ND & TX in my opinion is the fact that drilling is being done on private land. Let me make this clear to those of you in Obamaland that don’t understand, the permitting process is not controlled by the Fed. Gov’t. I have yet to move a drilling rig off of or onto a Federal lease since Nov. 2008.
Throw the bums out and start over on 11/06/2012.
Fred

jrsrigmvr on July 14, 2012 at 3:52 PM

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 3:36 PM

Gotta run. Interesting arguing with you. Happy Bastille Day — give my regards to Paris.

What’s your art?

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 4:02 PM

Gotta run. Interesting arguing with you. Happy Bastille Day — give my regards to Paris.

What’s your art?

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 4:02 PM

That’s a great movie…Have a good Bastille Day Yo’self

I’m a painter/printmaker…2D type and happy being oldschool

workingclass artist on July 14, 2012 at 4:42 PM

When 97 people out of the 100 that live there are working, the model looks pretty good.

NoPain on July 14, 2012 at 5:57 PM

Which is why John Hoeven should be Vice President.
joepub on July 14, 2012 at 9:33 AM

NO. I live here in SW ND.
You do NOT want Hoeven. And you don’t want Berg.

Don’t kid yourself folks aobut us.
ND is as stifling as any other state. Just in different ways.
Our property taxes are unrealistic.
And my median income is not rising. I guess it could if I wanted to go work in the oil fields.
This $hit’s at my backdoor. I don’t mind the progress, but it’s not all it’s cracked up to be.
We can’t grow fast enough for people coming here. And in many places it’s getting messy.

BTW-Hoeven was fortunate enough to be Gov in good times.
Our state receives more Federal $$ than it should. They like their Congressmen to bring home the bacon.
Northa Dakotans in general seem to be Democrats in GOP clothing.
We are just fortunate enough not to be too stifling.

Badger40 on July 14, 2012 at 6:10 PM

And might I add Hoeven was the President of the STATE owned Bank of ND.

I find that institution a bad idea.

Badger40 on July 14, 2012 at 6:11 PM

that poor people in Texas have ludicrously bad eduction and health care (also, their faith-based, public education system).

I hope that ND will strike a balance. And get us some good music.

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 10:21 AM

I was HS educated in East Texas.
The poor education kids receive there is bcs of
ILLEGAL ALIENS who can’t speak English.
I know this bcs the prep school kids going to private school got better educations than we did. Bcs guess what? NO ILLEGALS.

Badger40 on July 14, 2012 at 6:13 PM

Travel to ND to see what is happening?

I can see (what is happening in ND) from my front door!

he state’s success is attributable to sensible regulations, the often-maligned fracking process and drilling that’s taking place on private lands.

But I understand that Congress critters may have some difficulty with comprehension of the commonsense.

IrishEyes on July 14, 2012 at 8:35 PM

,
2 things to remember about North Dakota:

1: 40 below keeps the riffraff out.
2. There’s a pretty girl behind every tree.

.

cntrlfrk on July 14, 2012 at 9:14 PM

Soledad O’Brien will give credit for ND’s economy to Obama.

Decoski on July 14, 2012 at 9:59 PM

2 things to remember about North Dakota:

1: 40 below keeps the riffraff out.
2. There’s a pretty girl behind every tree.

.

cntrlfrk on July 14

Ha! Only someone from ND knows the joke about pretty girls! I didn’t grow up in ND, but I was the 4th family member to graduate from UND (and sending #5 there from CA next month). It’s a great place to be from, that’s for sure.

AZ Fed-girl-ist on July 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM

I hope Obama does not hear about this oily success: you know what happens when Obama screws with our economy….

Sherman1864 on July 14, 2012 at 10:24 PM

Katrina came ashore in Mississippi. It barely hit Louisiana at all, with the exception of Slidell. New Orleans came through Katrina without any problems at all, until the levee burst because it was not being maintained.

On the other hand, Hurricane Rita hit western Louisiana later that same year and did some damage.

The media, of course, doesn’t care about the parts of Louisiana that are not New Orleans.

On a broader scale, Louisiana has always had more oil than Mississippi, but historically has a lot of corruption. Oil can be a huge boon to an economy, but Venezuela proves that it can just as easily lead to wide-scale corruption and fraud.

It’s what you do with your resources that matters.

didymus on July 14, 2012 at 11:13 PM

urban elitist on July 14, 2012 at 1:09 PM

So, what are you worried about? Fracking or pretending you know anything about oil, tax, regulations, permitting, bonds, surface and land right, water….anything?

FYI, stop watching the documentary that Josh Fox put out. 1. He lied 2. he used transference and made sure you only had eyes on the people NOT the problem 3. he never did any investigating on any of the supposed contaminated water or wells 4. he showed no evidence of the water that was sent in for analysis (aka no paperwork) 5. all of the speculation he put on “drilling and oil companies” is coming back as he is about to be sued for slander.

Maybe you shold go check the University of Austin… about their 150 page peer reviewed analysis on fracking and how it is not contaminating water….. you might learn something.

upinak on July 15, 2012 at 9:53 AM

blink on July 15, 2012 at 1:04 PM

let us not forget the age of the water wells (50+ or older) and the fact that many of these old water wells are not protected and are known to have seepage occur inside of them.

upinak on July 15, 2012 at 1:24 PM

2 things to remember about North Dakota:

1: 40 below keeps the riffraff out.
2. There’s a pretty girl behind every tree.

.

cntrlfrk on July 14, 2012 at 9:14 PM

1: It’s not that cold that often. And I’ve experienced much much warmer temperatures with higher humidity in the winter in Western WA state, Indiana, Illinois & other places that froze my a$$ off more that -40 temps here.
2: There are so many ugly girls/women here it’s hard not to hit one when you throw a rock.
I’m not kidding at all.

Badger40 on July 15, 2012 at 2:17 PM

Ouch!

blink on July 15, 2012 at 3:50 PM

HEh. There are some pretty chicks here, but I think they’re few & far between.
Something about them German/Russian genetics. Hefty squareheaded chicks who grow a lot of facial hair when they get older.
I think it’s why my Hubby had to find me in Wyoming!

Badger40 on July 16, 2012 at 12:46 PM

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