EPA Threatens North Dakota Oil Boom

Oil production in North Dakota has boomed to the point that the state now produces nearly as much oil each day as OPEC member Ecuador.

But a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could bring a halt to the boom that has virtually eliminated unemployment in North Dakota.

The state now has 200 rigs pumping 440,000 barrels of oil daily in the Bakken shale formation, according to the Heartland Institute. The state’s unemployment rate is holding at just 3.5 percent, with many oil industry jobs paying more than $100,000 a year, and “we have 18,000 jobs looking for people,” North Dakota Republican Rep. Rick Berg told The Hill.

“If our country’s GDP grew at 7 percent, as it does in [my] state, most of our problems would be over in two years.”

The North Dakota legislature is using some of the state’s oil revenue to fund $1.2 billion in infrastructure improvements, including roads and schools. Public schools will receive $340 million in oil-related revenues over the next two years, and oil money will pay for a disaster relief fund and a reduction in property taxes.

Also, the legislature has ordered that 30 percent of the funds from the state’s 6.5 percent oil extraction tax be sent to the state’s Legacy Fund, which cannot be touched until 2017, when accrued interest will become available for spending.

One reason for the boom: “The regulatory environment was already low in North Dakota, certainly better than California’s and some other oil-producing states,” said Brett Narloch, executive director of the North Dakota Policy Council.

“As we move forward with oil production, I expect the business environment to get better.”

Most of the Bakken shale production is occurring on private land, but analysts and state legislators fear the EPA may still seek to shut it down, the Institute reported.

The federal agency is currently investigating hydraulic fracturing (fracking) production techniques, which are used in shale oil production.

Narloch said: “If the EPA decides to ban fracking, that shuts down the entire industry since so many of the wells operate by that procedure. It would kill this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”


Permatorium in the Gulf, driving rigs off to other countries
Ban on offshore drilling along nearly all of the Eastern Seaboard
Fracking banned in New Jersey (thank you, Governor Christie)
No drilling in ANWR
Keystone pipeline shut down

And now there is this new threat from the newly empowered EPA, which has been given, through presidential fiat, unlimited power and authority to (1) make a unilateral decision about what is or is not “pollution” and (2) the power and authority to do whatever they want to address the alleged problem.  Congress did not approve this power shift, and has no control over it unless they stand up to Obama and take that control back.


5 thoughts on “EPA Threatens North Dakota Oil Boom

  1. RetiredSpook January 23, 2012 / 11:48 am

    The Obama administration was fully aware that the green energy emphasis in Spain resulted in over 20% unemployment and near destruction of the Spanish economy, and yet they chose to head in the same direction here. One could, I guess, chalk it up to ignorance egotism and idealism, thinking that Spain just didn’t do it right, and here it will be different. With boondoggles like Solyndra, a good argument could be made that Barry and the Boyz’ green energy push is more about crony capitalism than about jobs or energy independence. If the EPA shuts down the Bakken, however, the motives will be pretty obvious to most people. If they’re going to do it, I hope they do it before the election.

    • Cluster January 23, 2012 / 12:03 pm

      They wont do it before the election – the Obama regime knows how to play politics with issues like this. Unfortunately for the American people, politics is the only thing they know how to do.

      “If the EPA decides to ban fracking, that shuts down the entire industry since so many of the wells operate by that procedure. It would kill this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

      And if this happens, there will be a deafening call out to kill the EPA.

      • J. R. Babcock January 23, 2012 / 2:20 pm

        And if this happens, there will be a deafening call out to kill the EPA.

        Either that or we’ll see a level of civil disobedience in the energy sector unlike anything we’ve ever seen before. I’ve often wondered what would happen, for example, if the EPA issued a stop-work order on, say, a drilling operation, and the oil company said, “screw you” and began drilling anyway. What kind of enforcement mechanism does the EPA have? We may get to find out.

  2. Alan Fitzgerald January 25, 2012 / 8:23 am

    Ola! Blogs4victory,
    Speaking of which, that spends all it’s time threatening states of the United States of America?

    It is sounding more and more like 0bamasan is at war with us citizens.

    Are you beginning to think that too?

    Isn’t he also at war with Arizona?

    Let’s throw this bum out.
    Nice One!

  3. ariannah Skye July 15, 2012 / 5:13 pm

    You people are clueless! Since when is MONEY more important than protecting the lives of your families, your children!!! Fracking is deadly to the environment and YOUR health! Really! You’re all going to end up with cancer. Your water will be unfit to drink! Then the oil will be gone and there won’t be any more jobs or money there anymore anyway! It’s Useless…the state of your economy will be worse than EVER!

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