by The Dickinson Press
June 3, 2013 at 7:00 pm in The Dickinson Press
What’s going on around here? I wish someone would explain it. Continue Reading
Tags: letters, Opinion 1 Comment »
Before we condemn the oil-industry for “ruining” ND, let’s try to think about how things would be different without it. When the recession hit the country, what would it have done to ND if we didn’t have this industry?
What would our unemployment rate be? Prior to the recession, and the oil-boom, we still had relatively low unemployment. But how much of that was due to all the young adults coming of age and moving away to find careers? When all the jobs disappeared across the country, where would these people have gone? If there are no jobs out there, and no jobs back here, how would ND look like with much higher unemployment?
Perhaps rents would be cheaper, but how do you afford rent with no job? ND never really had a problem with homelessness, mainly because the winter would kill you if you didn’t move away. So what would be better? Having a job in ND to pay the high rent, or being unemployed and homeless in a warmer State?
Now let’s talk gas prices. Obviously, gasoline comes from oil. What do you think would happen to gas prices in ND if the 4th largest oil-producing U.S. State ceased production? If ND refineries could purchase cheaper oil from elsewhere, they would. If ND could import cheaper gasoline from elsewhere, we would. Even if we could, what good would that do if we didn’t have paychecks to pay for it?
As for using eminent domain to widen the highways, the landowners should be justly compensated for their land. I understand that some owners are unhappy about it (perhaps they want more money) but I have yet to hear of any major controversies over converting a narrow strip of land into a roadway. I’m not saying it is nonexistent, just that it is not a significant problem.
Wind farms sound like a great idea for ND. But its not that simple. For starters, have you ever driven past some of our wind farms on one of our notoriously windy days and seen them not moving? There is such thing as too much wind and they have to shut them down to prevent damage. Additionally, wind farms take more farmland acreage than most people would think. Not only do you need the immediate footprint for the tower, but you also need access roads and transmission lines. Wind power is also more expensive, and we don’t have any air pollution problems with our existing power plants.
ND is changing, and at times it can be frustrating. But just look at the alternative to a thriving economy and tell us what would be better. ND wouldn’t have much to offer if it wasn’t for the oil. And if you can’t stand it here, there’s plenty of dying communities around the country where one can move to.
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