Ms. Gail Collins, noted New York Times op-ed writer, visits Williston ND. Lots of businesses are displaying help wanted signs. Income is way up. A waitress earned $400 in tips in one night.
But have no fear, Ms. Collins is here to report the terrible downside of this.
Well, the oil is extracted through the environmentally suspect method of hydrofracking. The area appears to be geologically well suited to the process, but it still uses up a ton of water. Also, an endless progression of large trucks create spills, tie up traffic and tear up the roads. . . .
You would expect that, as population and incomes rose, new stores, theaters and restaurants would follow. But, in Williston, they haven’t. Lanny Gabbert, a science teacher at the high school, says his students yearn for a mall where they could shop, “but the closest thing is Walmart.” The most ambitious restaurants would be classified under the heading of “casual dining,” and the fast food is not fast, given the lunchtime lines that can stretch out for 20 minutes or more. Neither retailers nor restaurateurs are interested in investing in a place where they have to compete with the oil fields to attract workers.
Well, let me be among the first to say, THANK GOD FOR AMERICA'S INSTITUTIONS OF HIGHER EDUCATION, places that offer shelter to the young people from all that awfulness.
And I'll bet Ms. Collins is glad, too.
(Over on Hot Air, Libby Sternberg wrote a piece anticipating my view entitled, "The dumbest column EV-AH?")