The discovery of oil in the Western part of North Dakota has had a tremendous impact on the locals. North Dakota now has an unemployment rate of under 3.5% and a billion dollar budget surplus. Although the discovery has benefited the state, North Dakota’s previous infrastructure cannot handle the influx of new people and commerce.
The wells being drilled now were acquired by lease, and cheap ones. The oil companies are rushing to drill as much as they can before these leases expire, because when they do they will be much more expensive to renew. I found this to be interesting because this relates to the 1920 mineral leasing act that we have studying.
Although many people are profiting from the discovery of oil, from the oil rig workers to the people that owe these companies, it is destroying many peoples homes and much of the natural landscape in North Dakota.