Planet Gore

Drill, Baby, Drill — North Dakota Edition

IBD Editors:

Recovery: While states like Nevada wallow in recession, tiny North Dakota becomes the first state rated as expanding by a leading service. Could it be the state’s burgeoning energy industry?

The recession — induced by Democrats and activists meddling in the housing market through the Community Reinvestment Act and then whistling past the bad-loan graveyard of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — officially ended in June 2009, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

For much of the country, mired in a jobless recovery with job losses so great and prospects so bleak that it will take decades just to get back to where we were, this statistical factoid meant little as hope and change continued to deteriorate into chaos and incompetence.

The most recent data from the Adversity Index, produced by Moody’s Analytics and MSNBC.com, showed that those states — Nevada, Michigan, Vermont, Rhode Island, Georgia, New Mexico, Mississippi and Illinois — were still in a recession as recently as July of this year.

One state, North Dakota, is in a boom of sorts, so much so that it was rated by the Adversity Index as the first state to have moved out of the recession and actual expansion mode.

The key may be North Dakota’s development of the energy resources under its soil and in its rocks, something the Obama administration is loath to do nationally. Instead we get drilling moratoriums and polar bear habitat protection that serve to make America the only industrialized nation not developing its domestic energy resources.

North Dakota is simply gushing. It has a billion-dollar budget surplus and oil revenues ready to shoot up 70% over the next two years.

Contrast this with the Gulf states, where job losses could reach tens of thousands as the oil industry atrophies and rigs leave for foreign waters.

North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation: 3.6% for July. That’s in large part because the state has doubled its oil production in just four years, surging to 80 million barrels in 2009. In the past year, the number of oil-drilling rigs has tripled and now stands at about 130. New technology has made profitable the previously unprofitable oil reserves there.

The rest here.

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