Right Hooks

Export Ban Killed North Dakota's Oil Fields

Dan Gilmore · Jun. 30, 2015

It used to be a bright spot in the nation’s economy. While Detroit spiraled into debt, Washington choked the coal industry with regulations and Seattle instituted a $15 minimum wage, North Dakota’s oil fields were booming. The influx of oil, combined with the fracking of natural gas, flooded the nation in cheap energy. But the law of supply and demand kicked in. Low oil and gas prices meant it became inefficient for the oil rigs to keep operating. And now, North Dakota’s economy is suffering. First, the oil workers were let go and the rigs dismantled. Then the support industries followed, the parts salesmen, the housing industry, then the restaurants and schools. The North Dakota economy is slowing down. Hot Air’s Jazz Shaw said the fallout could have been avoided. About 40 years ago, the nation banned the export of oil because of its scarcity. That ban prevented today’s industry from reaching its full potential. It prevented the U.S. from establishing trade relationships with countries that now have to go to places like Saudi Arabia, Venezuela or Russia. Now, it could be years before North Dakota’s oil fields are back to the levels they were just a few months ago.

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