Fracking Fuels Economic Boom in Middle America

CNBC:

What a difference a few years make.

When we launched America’s Top States for Business in 2007 — before the housing market implosion and the financial crisis — our Top States were attracting not only businesses but people: families and home buyers.

Four of our Top Five that year were Southern states: Virginia followed by Texas, Utah, Georgia and North Carolina.

(Watch: Can Texas Stay on Top?)

But while we and everyone else were looking south, oil production in North Dakota’sBakken Shale tripled in 2007. Crude oil was trading at a mere $60 a barrel, though, so not many people noticed. The state finished a mere 13th.

By last year, however, Brent Crude oil was averaging around $111 a barrel, and North Dakota made its first appearance in our Top Five. The move was largely a result of the state’s dizzying economic growth — “bigger than China’s growth rate,” Steven Landefeld, director of the federal Bureau of Economic Analysis, told CNBC in an interview. “It’s been oil and gas [in North Dakota].”

Virginia, by contrast, slipped to No. 3 last year — its worst showing ever. And Georgia slipped all the way to ninth place.

Our rankings reflect what experts say has been a gradual change in recent years, with the core of economic expansion moving to the middle of the country.

The rest here.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More
Elections

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More
U.S.

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More