Long before the full frenzy of the boom, you could see its harbingers at the Mountrail County courthouse in Stanley, N.D. Geologists had pored over core samples and log signatures and had made their educated guesses, and now it was the hour of the “landmen,” the men and women whose job was to dig through courthouse books for the often-tangled history of mineral title and surface rights. (Snip)… around seven years ago — driven by technological refinements that have made North Dakota a premier laboratory for coaxing oil from stingy rocks — the state’s Bakken boom began....
Comments: Long, but highly informative. The usual NYT condescension and snark are, unfortunately, seeded throughout.
I was annoyed throughout the article with the snobbishness of the writer who saw nothing of the beauty of this area of America, and bemoaned its ´lack of culture´. Well, those people who call the Great Plains ´flyover country´ will never, ever, get it.
Although Obama bragged that oil production is up in the USA, he neglected to mention that it is only UP on private land, because the gov´t can´t get their hands on it to shut it down. The entire country could be booming if Obama would get out of the way.
FTA: Even a well-publicized investigation by the news Web site ProPublica that reported that there were more than “1,000 accidental releases of oil, drilling wastewater and other fluids” in North Dakota in 2011 passed without much fuss.
The authors should ask themselves, how many accidental releases of heating oil got reported in NY? How many spills are reported in NY putting gasoline into filling stations? How many septic tank draining companies improperly disposed of the water they removed? When you are drilling 100 wells a month, you get into a groove where you do it right the first and every time. It costs too much money to do otherwise.
That has a positive side. People love to explore the Badlands and rock formations in the western Dakotas. They love to hunt, fish and photograph the bounty the grassland and waterways have to offer. If New York Times folk see such activities as beneath them, that means they´ll never venture to this part of the country and ruin it.
On a frosty morning spent hunting for deer and moose, there´s no place to put one´s latte and French pastries. There´s no room for them in an ice fishing hut, either. Got to save space for your beer.
Actually, I´ve always considered "big city culture" to be rather shallow. Much of it is so very self-centered. OK for a cursory visit but very lacking in long term satisfaction. About like going to a strip club.
In his disproportionate praise of the six-month agreement with Iran, Barack Obama said: “For the first time in nearly a decade, we have halted the progress of the Iranian nuclear program.” But if the program, now several decades old, had really been “halted” shortly after U.S. forces invaded neighboring Iraq, we would not be desperately pursuing agreements to stop it now, as about 10,000 centrifuges spin to enrich uranium. (snip) Iran’s nuclear program is alarming because Iran’s regime is opaque in its decision-making, frightening in its motives (measured by its rhetoric) and barbaric in its behavior.
IN 2011, the British historian Stephen Ellis published a paper concluding that Nelson Mandela had been a member of the South African Communist Party — indeed, a member of its governing Central Committee. Although Mandela’s African National Congress and the Communist Party were openly allied against apartheid, Mandela and the A.N.C. have always denied that the hero of South Africa’s liberation was himself a party member. But Ellis, drawing on testimony of former party members and newly available archives, made a convincing case that Mandela joined the party around 1960, several years before he was
According to our recently proposed treaty with the Iranian government, Iran keeps much of its nuclear program while agreeing to slow its path to weapons-grade enrichment. The Iranians also get crippling economic sanctions lifted. (snip) Because Iran is not a consensual society, our nuclear deal will last only as long as Iran finds it strategically useful. After their fiscal health is restored, expect the Iranians to abruptly reboot all their centrifuges and finish making a bomb. The theocracy will also use the present non-aggression arrangement with the United States to double down in Syria, energize Hezbollah, and strengthen Hamas.
Critics of the agreement with Iran concerning its nuclear program are right about most things but wrong about the most important things. They understand the agreement’s manifest and manifold defects and its probable futility. Crucial components of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure remain. (snip) The six-month agreement, with ongoing negotiations, makes it impossible for the United States to attack its negotiating partner. Hence the agreement constrains Israel, which lacks the military capacity to be certain of a success commensurate with the risks of attacking Iran. Therefore there is no alternative to a policy of containment of a nuclear Iran.
Before he paused to allow reporters to ask questions about the nuclear deal with Iran that he had just announced in Geneva, Secretary of State John Kerry seemed to anticipate one line of criticism about the accord -- that it effectively cedes to the Islamic regime the right to enrich uranium, despite half a dozen U.N. Security Council resolutions declaring the activity illegal. And he moved, preemptively, to address it. "In 2003, when the Iranians made an offer to the former administration with respect to their nuclear program, there were 164 centrifuges," (snip) today there are 19,000 centrifuges and growing."
In Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger, the eponymous Auric Goldfinger observes: Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times, it’s enemy action. That may be overly generous. A couple of weeks back, cancer patient Bill Elliot, in a defiant appearance on Fox News, discussed the cancelation of his insurance and what he intended to do about it. He’s now being audited. Insurance agent C Steven Tucker, who quaintly insists that the whimsies of the hyper-regulatory bureaucracy do not trump your legal rights, saw the interview and reached out to Mr Elliot to help him. And he’s now being audited.
Under the agreement reached in Geneva over the weekend, Iran is permitted to keep one-half of the uranium it has enriched to the 20% level, and is required to dilute the remaining one-half to 5% U-235. It is allowed to continue enriching uranium, but agrees not to take that process beyond 5% U-235 during the next six months. No doubt many people who hear about those terms will be reassured, thinking that 5% enrichment, and even 20%, represents only a small percentage of the total effort (snip) for a nuclear bomb. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
The question all week long was this: Who are you going to believe, an illegal alien or the president of the United States of America? Obviously, if it’s a president who once went by an alias, Barry Soetoro, you go with Uncle Omar, 100 percent, no questions asked. And so it was that the White House finally admitted to another, uh, misstatement — despite previous denials, Barack/Barry did sleep on his beloved Uncle Omar’s couch in Cambridge when he first moved here to attend Harvard Law School (speaking of which, we’re still waiting to see the president’s grades and his LSAT scores). But the
How do you get your arms around the catastrophe known as Obamacare? Is it even possible? At this point, I’m not sure it is. The list of individual disasters which threaten to ruin one-sixth of the U.S. economy and what has been, up until now, the best healthcare system in the world is exhaustive, and exhausting. The examples I will identify here barely scratch the surface. First but by no means foremost, we have the supposedly new and improved HealthCare.gov. Except it’s not, even the visible part. Stories still abound of people still failing to get in or to get through the enrollment
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a new five-year strategic plan to improve safety for elderly drivers and passengers. Although they are statistically among the safest on the road, the number of older drivers is increasing dramatically — and with it, that group´s numbers of injuries and deaths. Since 2003, the population of older adults, defined as age 65 and older, has increased by 20% and the number of licensed older drivers increased by 21% to 35 million in 2012, according to NHTSA. Last year, NHTSA reported that 5,560 people older than 65 died and 214,000 were injured
A veteran Washington adviser who has worked for four Presidents on both sides of the political aisle said that the stunning Government Accountability Report report that found President Barack Obama has not had a one-on-one meeting with Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius since the passage of Obamacare over three years ago is an indictment of the entire White House operation and shows that the Obama administration has bordered on "malfeasance." "I have no doubt the White House is right, that Secretary Sebelius was in several group meetings with the president about health care," Gergen caveated, "but the whole
President Barack Obama’s Facebook page on Saturday posted a message honoring the dead from Pearl Harbor—accompanied by a picture of Obama descending the stairs next to the Pearl Harbor Memorial. The picture barely fits the name of the Arizona Memorial so it can frame Obama in the foreground. The post´s statement reads: Today, with solemn pride and reverence, let us remember those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor, acknowledge everyone who carried their legacy forward, and reaffirm our commitment to upholding the ideals for which they served. President Obama The Obama Administration´s current shipbuilding plan shrinks the size of
Barack Obama did not tell the whole story this autumn when he tried to make the case that Bashar al-Assad was responsible for the chemical weapons attack near Damascus on 21 August. In some instances, he omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts. Most significant, he failed to acknowledge something known to the US intelligence community: that the Syrian army is not the only party in the country’s civil war with access to sarin, the nerve agent that a UN study concluded – without assessing responsibility – had been used in the rocket attack. In the months before the attack,
Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, the hapless, goalpost-shifting so-called "architect" of Obamacare, told Fox News´ Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that President Barack Obama´s promise "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor" was absolutely true--with one important caveat: if you like your doctor, "you can pay for it." Wallace grilled Dr. Emanuel, challenging his false claims that California´s enrollment was keeping pace with the percentage of the young population necessary to keep the system afloat, and pointing out that the president´s promise on doctors would collapse once people lost their insurance or their