The Wall Street Journal

Oil Fuels Population Boom in North Dakota City
The Wall Street Journal

The fastest-growing small city in the U.S. is Williston, N.D., a longtime railroad outpost 540 miles from the nearest major U.S. sports franchise that has been transformed by the state’s oil boom, according to new Census Bureau data. From April 2010 to July 2011, the population in and around Williston grew far faster than in any other micropolitan area—population centers with at least one urban cluster of between 10,000 and 50,000 people—swelling by 8.8% to 24,374 residents, according to census estimates.

The census figures underline the feverish pace of the North Dakota oil boom, which has attracted hundreds of oil rigs to the state’s northwestern corner and thousands of workers to man them. Since new drilling technologies gave oil companies access to up to 4.3 billion barrels of crude in the Bakken Shale, which stretches across North Dakota, Montana and Canada, the influx of cash and oil has turned the once sleepy area into one of the most bustling regional economies in the country.

While other states are struggling with budget misery, North Dakota’s coffers are overflowing. The state government’s revenue hit $139 million in February—82% more than February 2010, and 58% more than budget officials’ forecast last year. In two years, motor-vehicle excise-tax revenue has more than doubled, while corporate income-tax revenue has increased fivefold.

Qu’ont en commun la France et le Québec ? La langue française et un moratoire sur les hydrocarbures de schiste… Une population unilingue facilement manipulable par les médias écolo-marxistes, puisque les gens n’ont pas facilement accès aux informations diffusées dans la presse anglophone, qui est beaucoup plus balancée que la presse francophone…