Look at the advantages:
- Highest social capital of any state in the US
- More native Congresspersons per capita
- More people over 85 per capita
His new wealth springs from the Bakken formation, a sprawling deposit of high-quality crude beneath the durum wheat fields of North Dakota, Montana and southern Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The Bakken may give the U.S. -- the world's biggest importer of oil -- a new domestic energy source at a time when demand from China and India is ratcheting up the global competition for supplies and propelling average U.S. gasoline prices to almost $4 a gallon.Even if this estimate is optimistic, it looks to me like a far better bet than ANWAR. Now reduced to a flag-pin political litmus test, drilling in the Arctic strikes me as enormously more problematic than turning North Dakota into the next Texas.
And unlike the tar from Canada's oil sands, Bakken crude needs little refining. Swirl some of it in a Mason jar and it leaves a thin, honey-colored film along the sides. It's light - -almost like gasoline -- and sweet, meaning it's low in sulfur.
Best of all, the Bakken could be huge. The U.S. Geological Survey's Leigh Price, a Denver geochemist who died of a heart attack in 2000, estimated that the Bakken might hold a whopping 413 billion barrels. If so, it would dwarf Saudi Arabia's Ghawar, the world's biggest field, which has produced about 55 billion barrels. [More]
While energy development will not re-establish hundreds of small towns and rural social structures, developing resources in places like ND seems to meet every criteria used to measure a solution to our spiraling energy costs.
Would it change the culture of ND? I would think so, but I'm not too sure that hasn't already been irreversible shifted from its old trajectory by population mobility and fertility changes, farm policy, ag technology, and warmer climate (for whatever reason).
Perhaps ND is on it's way to being renamed "New Dakota".