30 yrs ago I worked in the south louisiana oil fields for two summers. It was back breaking work , dangerous and dirty, but the money was good. I imasgine it is still pretty good. Especially in areas like the Dakotas , Wyoming and Montana, that are still suffering in this Economy.
But this financial windfall ,comes with risks and dangers. Pasrticularly in polution, cvorruption and crime. We are already seeing the effects in the Dakotas and eastern Montana. A lot of workers piling into an area looking for work, increasing the housing shortage, increasing drugs and alcohol usage. When the jobs are limited or the rigs slow down with the price drop in oil or gas. the fringe turns to crime.
The oil boom also puts pressure on traditional business, like farming, ranching local merchants ( who are displaced by the chains moving in to chase the out off state workers.
The bozeman Magpie looks at this issue in relation to Lewistown Mt. As the oil rush moves weast. Heres an exerpt and link
FOUR MILES southeast of Lewistown, some of the purest water in the world flows from the ground at a rate of 90 million gallons per day. It emerges through natural fissures from the Madison aquifer, a thick and porous layer of limestone that sucks up water high in the nearby Snowy and Big Belt Mountains before diving a mile deep below the surrounding plains. Without filtration or treatment, the cold and slightly sweet water is piped directly to the faucets of Lewistown's 5,900 residents.
Eric Vanderbeek, who heads up scientific research for the Madison Aquifer Alliance, took me to see the spring on an overcast early summer day. We parked in the dirt driveway of the fish hatchery and walked among broad willow trees and around crystal clear pools percolating from small outlying springs to a giant concrete cistern housing the main spring. From its outlet rushed a small river. "Guess you could drink right out of there," Vanderbeek said, gesturing to the roaring flow.
The Madison Aquifer Alliance is a handful of Lewistown residents who have organized in recent months in response to a potential onslaught of oil drilling in the region, including the area that overlies and recharges the aquifer.