A looming fuel crisis leads to a boon for North Dakotans

Friday, August 01, 2008

There’s an oil boom in North Dakota, and the wealth under ground is creating millionaires.

Guest: Caitlin McNally, documentary filmmaker

Guest's notes: "2 of 12,000"

The tiny, dusty town of Stanley — with a population of less than 1,500 — sits in the heart of western North Dakota’s current oil boom. I came across Trisha and Lilly, two young waitresses, when I was seeking out places in Stanley where people would be talking about oil and what it means for them. These girls generously and energetically told me their stories in between serving burgers and ringing up regular late-morning customers at the roadside café where they work. It surprised me to learn how far they had traveled to get to this barren, remote region. Both girls followed their oil-worker boyfriends halfway across the country to jump into the gold rush kicked off by all the drilling. While more and more North Dakotans are heading out to high-paying jobs in the oil fields, positions are opening up at lightning speed in small town cafes, bars and motels. The North Dakota Petroleum Council estimates that the oil boom will create 12,000 new jobs that will need to be filled by 2010. Trisha and Lilly are already there to meet the call.

— Caitlin McNally

Contributors:

Leo Duran

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