Natural Resources

Fall 2011 Natural Resources Law Class at UB

Oil Boom in North Dakota December 2, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — nnarchus @ 10:47 pm

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.



Asian Carp Threatening Great Lakes. November 28, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — nnarchus @ 7:34 pm

Two Asian Carp species, Silver and Bighead Carp were imported from China in the 1970’s¬†escaped from their pens at fish farms in Arkansas and Kentucky. Because of how much the carp eat and how quickly they grow and reproduce, the foreign carp wreak havoc on the foreign eco-systems in the United States.

The Asian Carp eat plankton and algae that native fish and organisms need to survive. These native organisms have a hard time competing with these carp for survival. The Asian Carp have disrupted the Mississippi and Illinois rivers and other waterways in the region. The Asian Carp are making there way towards the Great Lakes, threatening one of the United States most valuable water resources.

The Resources Defense Council would like to erect barriers to separate Chicago waterways and Lake Michigan from the Mississippi to keep the Carp out. No major action can be taken until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases its comprehensive study into the blockage of aquatic pathways between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi. The findings are due out in 2015.

This really makes me think about the negative impact foreign species can have on a stable ecosystem. Down below is a link to a report by ESPN: