North Dakota’s Bakken oil field is one of the most active fracking sites in the U.S. It’s so big, you can see the flares burning from outer space.
Most people will never visit the Bakken. Far removed from major cities, it is difficult to see how it affects all of our lives.
But there is more to fracking than extraction. Bakken oil is shipped across the country, often in unsafe oil trains, putting communities everywhere at risk.
Earlier this month, Earthworks hosted community leaders from North Dakota in an online panel discussion to expose the truth about life in the Bakken. We learned about the constant stream of social issues including housing booms and busts, migration of national and international workers, childhood homelessness, mental health and suicide concerns, crime and violence. Our panelists also addressed the health and climate impacts of oil drilling, and our continued struggle to reel in this out-of-control industry.
We are so thankful to our panelists: Don Morrison, Executive Director of the Dakota Resource Council; Wayde Schafer of Sierra Club, North Dakota; and, Pastor Martin Mock of the First Lutheran Church in Williston, North Dakota. After their presentations the panelists thoughtfully addressed some of the many questions from our audience of over 100 concerned citizens.
It is clear that there is more work to do, and more we can all do to help. In the coming weeks we’ll post thoughts from our panelists that build on this first webinar discussion and ask that you continue to stay engaged, ask questions in the comment section below and spread the word.
Post by Deborah Thomas