EPA Regulations Put Thousands of Oil Jobs at Risk

Posted by - Tuesday, January 24th, 2012

The oil boom in North Dakota has “virtually eliminated unemployment in North Dakota.”

But that all may be about to change...

A recent decision made by the Environmental Protection Agency could put thousands of jobs — and those job holders' livelihood — in jeopardy.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, domestic energy production in our country is greater now than it has been since 2003.

There were 90,000 more barrels of oil produced each day in 2011 than in 2010. And the stark increase in production has led to a steadily increasing job market within the oil industry.

Currently, North Dakota boasts a 3.5 percent unemployment rate — nearly one-third of the country's unemployment rate.

Additionally, there are 18,000 more jobs to fill in the area, according to Rick Berg, North Dakota Republican Representative: “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 decline in unemployment is largely due to the oil boom. In total, the Heartland Institute has reported that North Dakota has 200 oil rigs extracting roughly 440,000 barrels of oil each day from the Bakken Shale formation.

oil boom
*Image courtesy of Greg Latza.

Prior to the boom in ND, environmental regulation was relatively low in the area. The area itself wasn't of particular interest to the EPA... until very recently. 

Now the agency is closely investigating the threats of hydraulic fracturing and the little intricacies of the production techniques that may have a lasting negative impact on the environment.

In response, Bakken oil producers are concerned that the EPA will aim to shut those Bakken projects down — including even those on private land.

Should this happen, the oil industry, working class, and entire U.S. economy will suffer some devastating effects. The loss of jobs and oil production will echo throughout the nation, with massive deficits in the GDP possible.

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.”

Brett Narloch, Executive Director, North Dakota Policy Council

*Indented excerpts courtesy of Newsmax.com.

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