Source:Bakken Oil Report
By Lance Medlin, EVP and chief operating officer at Meridian Energy Group, Inc.
If I were to tell you that the relationship between agriculture and energy was older than the energy industry itself, it’s not likely that anyone reading this article would be surprised, or for that matter, even interested. It’s something we’ve heard before, spun from different angles with different agendas all with the aim to show how the two largest industries in North Dakota have co-developed to harmonize into a perfect family.
A historically dysfunctional relationship
For those of us who have lived through one or more oil booms, you might be more apt to take the stance of “this town ain’t big enough for the two of us!” assuming there either aren’t enough resources to support both industries, or those resources aren’t shared and matured in a sustainable manner. More than once, North Dakota has seen the energy cycle hit in such an unsustainable manner that the entire infrastructure became overwhelmed. There were not enough resources to share, nor the ability to share the civil and infrastructure resources that were available.
Schools were overcrowded, roads damaged, jobs created and then removed, and before you knew it, the crude market crashed and everyone left. That’s not a handshake, that’s a body slam. Energy just comes in, body slams the local economy and resources, then leaves.