Tag Archives: Oil

What is Happening in Iraq Now?

Tim Arango, the Baghdad Bureau Chief of the NYT, on Charlie Rose. The entire interview is only 14 minutes.

In the last two minutes he addresses what Saddam would have done to the Arab Spring. (The short answer: “Saddam would have slaughtered them.”)

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Filed under Iraq, Middle East

Six-figure Salaries, But Homeless

This is not an Onion headline.


WILLISTON, N.D. — They’re pulling in fat paychecks, but now they’re also homeless.

In the town of Williston, N.D., America’s newest oil boomtown, more than 6,000 job seekers have come from every corner of the country looking for work. Yet, oil companies and other developers haven’t been able to build housing units fast enough.

In the past year, only about 2,000 new housing units have been built, leaving many workers out in the cold.

With dozens of job seekers arriving by the day and fewer and fewer spots for them live in, people are taking some desperate measures.

Newer arrivals who can’t find vacant hotel rooms or apartments sleep in their cars or in sleeping bags on spare patches of grass along the highway. The luckier ones nab a spot in one of the dozens of dorm-like facilities, known as “man camps,” that the oil companies have built to house their workers.

The living conditions are far from ideal, but to some of these workers the lure of doubling or tripling their salaries far outweighs the physical and mental toll it can take.

I applaud both their work ethic and self-sacrifice. Good on ’em.

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Filed under Energy, Miscellaneous

A Case for Exploration and Drilling

From The Economist:

Commodity prices are acting as regulators of global growth. The emerging markets are first in the queue for supplies because they are often able to use each extra barrel of oil or shipload of ore more gainfully. Their demand raises prices and lowers real incomes in the rich world, which gets crowded out. Rich countries had become used to unlimited access to cheap raw materials: prices had been falling for a century or more. Now there is competition for primary resources. Producers are benefiting and rich-world consumers are suffering, at precisely the time when they are also increasingly anxious about job security as China and India rise and rise.

True, but there is no reason why we can’t be both a producer and a rich-world consumer. We need an energy policy that encourages exploration and extraction of all commodities available, including oil. “Drill, baby, drill!” might be a cheap campaign slogan, and the belief that we can drill our way out of the problem is naive, but we are choosing to transfer our wealth to producers of commodities by choosing not join them. We could create both jobs and wealth quite easily with the correct incentives and regulations. Instead we choose Solyndra.

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Filed under Economics, Energy, Environment