Star Tribune

North Dakota struggles to cope with its oil-boom prosperity
Star Tribune

[Peoples] of the world are flocking to North Dakota in droves, modern frontiersmen transforming this recently dying flyover land into the fastest-growing state in the nation, according to the Census Bureau. Storefront signs scream « now hiring. » Pickups and semis jam long stretches of two-lane highways. Backhoes claw the ground even in frozen January. Recreational vehicles occupy former farm fields next to row upon row of box-like modular living pods.

In Williston, the epicenter of the growth, the local hospital opened a new birthing center, workers are building a giant new rec center and students are overflowing in a school that once sat empty. Civic leaders have been approving building permits and hiring police and teachers and nearly every kind of government worker.

Twelve years ago, Williston’s population stood at a little more than 12,500 people. Now, officials there estimate the town services 38,000. They expect it could hit 50,000 by 2017.

Gordon Weyrauch, manager of Williston Home & Lumber, said it’s hard to keep good employees even at $16 an hour: « Seems like when you get somebody that’s really good, there’s always another company stealing them away. » A sign outside the local Wal-Mart advertises starting wages of $17 an hour.

Dans le Dakota du Nord, à cause de l’exploitation du pétrole de schiste, les gens doivent composer avec un boom économique et des emplois à 17$ de l’heure au Wal-Mart…

À Gaspé, à cause du refus d’exploiter le pétrole de schiste, les gens doivent composer avec une réforme de l’assurance-chômage et l’absence de Wal-Mart…

Gérer la croissance me semble plus porteur d’avenir que de gérer la décroissance…