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USA, “Drill Baby Drill”, a new black gold rush

The new black gold is neither solid nor liquid. Insidiously, the shale gas is expanding a control on the land and people in North Dakota.

Two years ago, America was importing two thirds of its oil. Today, it imports less than half. By 2017, the US could be the world's largest oil producer. Places like Williston are the reason.
Advances in technologies as "fracking" and horizontal drilling have made billions of barrels of oil available under North Dakota. And oil companies are coming from all over the country now. Williston’s population has grown from 12,000 to 20,000. Unemployment is less than 2 percent and there are between 2,000 and 3,000 job openings.

No one imagined tanker trucks barreling up and down Main Street, 24/7. No one predicted the traffic jams, the deafening rattle of semis, and 10,000 vehicles pulverizing the small two-lane road. Traffic worse than most big cities.
Oil patches look like the aftermath of a natural disaster. Towns have long lines, for gas, for food, and a housing shortage. Many are left to live in parking lots -- like the Walmart in Williston where some 100 people sleep in their vehicles every night.

Environmentalists are concerned about the potential to contaminate ground water, and the hundreds of millions of gallons of water used. Fracking in North Dakota has been linked to earthquakes in Oklahoma, Texas and Great Britain.

A lucid analysis, which raises a fundamental question: our dependence on fossil fuels.

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