National Public Radio, posted January 16, 2013 (edited by me):
"It's a little to the left, high up near the Canadian border. Just run
your eye up that line of lights at the center of the country, look over
to the upper left: There's a patch that looks like a big city — but
there is no big city in that part of North Dakota. There's mostly grass.
So what are those lights doing there? What is that?"
"What we have here is an immense and startlingly new oil and gas field —
nighttime evidence of an oil boom created by fracking. Those lights are rigs, hundreds of them, lit at night, or
fiery flares of natural gas. One hundred fifty oil companies, big ones,
little ones, wildcatters, have flooded this region, drilling up to eight
new wells every day on what is called the Bakken formation. Altogether,
they are now producing 660,000 barrels a day — double the output two
years ago — so that in no time at all, North Dakota is now the
second-largest oil producing state in America. Only Texas produces more,
and those lights are a sign that this region is now on fire ... to a
disturbing degree. Literally."
"Only seven years ago, the U.S. was
importing 60 percent of its oil. Now imports are down to 42 percent. The
Bakken fields are helping to improve energy security."
"On the other hand, says Peter Lehner, blogger for the Natural Resources Defense Council, every day drillers
in North Dakota 'burn off enough gas to heat half a million homes.....' "
See the full story here.
Thanks to Craig Hankin for the link.