CNN Reports on Oil Boom or Bust in North Dakota [VIDEO]
What goes up, must come down. What is good for some, hurts others. North Dakota has been riding a high since the resurgence of the oil boom. Now with lower fuel prices, the state and some communities face uncertainty.
For the past 4-5 years, the nation and the eyes of the world have been on the Bakken and North Dakota, as our unemployment rates are the lowest in the nation. If you were able to work and find housing, and had the means to travel to the Peace Garden State, you had a job in the oil patch.
Now with the dropping fuel prices, many companies in the Bakken have cut back on active drilling rigs until the prices rebound. When there is a reduction in drilling activity, the next to follow is a cut back in hiring and then ultimately, layoffs. There have already been many reports on job cuts and layoffs.
CNN Money went to Williston to produce a story back in 2010. The focus the story was on the oil boom and how many of the small communities and towns like Williston were benefiting from the new tax base and increase in jobs and population. The report also examined the downside of the boom including the growing pains with infrastructure, lack of housing, lack of workers for the service industry and how the towns were trying to accommodate everything associated with the boom.
The latest CNN special report aired this week. The follow up story focused on the possible oil bust. It featured laid off employees and their stories and town officials including reports from representatives from the oil companies.
In Watford City, the early growing pains included adding housing units by the thousands to accommodate the demand, the city has borrowed money for the construction a new high school, events center and hospital. Now towns people are questioning how the city will pay for these new additions if the oil bust continues.
The mayor of Williston, Howard Klug said the city will look at tourism or returning to its agricultural roots if this trend continues and he insists the region still has many of opportunities and jobs that need to be filled.
"I'm not worried, because it's going to come back," said Klug