Sunlight Shining Through Cloud

Full Moon Rising Over The Oil Patch

Posted on: February 8, 2012

  • In: The Oil Patch
  • Comments Off on Full Moon Rising Over The Oil Patch

Mom is now able to live independently, so I’m free to move about once again. Nuthin’s shakin’ in Carolina, so I loaded up a truck, hitched up the car to a trailer and pounded the roads home to Minnesota at a 400-miles-a-day clip. After only a few days there, I headed west.

My 600-mile day, today, brought me to Sidney Montana in the glow of a smiling full moon. Sidney is at the state’s eastern border, is in the Mountain Time Zone, boasts fewer than 10,000 souls, and features maybe a dozen casinos. Most significantly, it’s at the western edge of the Oil Patch: The Bakken Oil Shale Formation which is currently thought to multiply Alaska’s Prudhoe Bay by at least a factor of 4.

It’s the wild, wild west out here both figuratively and literally. This place has jobs oozing from every pore…tens of thousands of jobs. Can’t import workers here fast enough. Can’t find places for them to live or to eat.

And the work, of course, is oil. A non-renewable resource, being sucked from two miles underground using a controversial extraction method called “hydraulic fracturing (frac-ing)” using materials that may be radioactive and which produce microparticles that can cause silicosis (a cancer).

My place in all of this? Safety, I hope. The work being done here may produce a modicum of energy independence for the country thereby changing the geopolitical complexion of things regarding the middle east. Certainly, the work being done here is producing jobs and helping the economy. The work here will be done with or without me. The most I can hope for is to contribute to safe practices.

Tomorrow, I’ll set out to find me a job that’ll do that. I’ll keep you posted.

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