The Bakken Shale: Fracking in North Dakota
We have heard a lot about the Dakota Access Pipeline, mostly about the over the effect it will have on the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, but most people don’t know anything about its relationship to the Bakken Oil Field in North Dakota. It is important to understand the relationship between the two.
For the past several years, there has been an oil boom happening in the state of North Dakota. This oil boom is because of oil that was discovered in what is called the Bakken Shale, or the Bakken Shale formation. The Bakken Shale formation is a large deposit of shale containing oil that is in eastern Shale Montana, Western North Dakota, and part of Saskatchewan, in Canada.
Even though the so-called Bakken oil boom has the potential to create jobs and puts more revenue into the economy of North Dakota, it also poses a significant threat to the environment of that region. To mention that the oil produced in the Bakken Shale formation will create a necessity to lay a pipeline to help transportation of this oil to where it can be refined into different products. The Dakota Access Pipeline is being built to carriers oil from the Bakken Shale Formation.
As we know, this pipeline threatens the water supply of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and other people living in that particular region because it will be necessary to build this pipeline under the Missouri River, upon which many depend on for their water supply. Also, this pipeline will also pose a threat to the underground aquifer that is also the supply of a significant amount of water to this region.
To produce oil from the Bakken Shale, it will be necessary for the oil companies to use the controversial and environmentally dangerous technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or just known as fracking.
There has been a huge controversy over fracking, to the point where it has been banned in a couple of states and is the source of large-scale protest across the nation.
Fracking has proven itself to be harmful because it requires the consumption of massive quantities of water and the use of many toxic chemicals, which are pumped underground to force oil from the Bakken Shale. The use of fracking is a major reason that environmentalists are opposed to further development of the Bakken oil field.
At a time when our nation is trying to end its dependency on fossil fuels, such as petroleum and coal, further developing the Bakken oil field flies in the face of our need to divorce ourselves from fossil fuels.
- Last-ditch legal bid to stop North Dakota pipeline fails (euronews.com)
- U.S. Army to grant final permit for controversial Dakota pipeline: court filing (thegazette.com)
- Trump’s orders = two steps back on climate change [Greg Laden’s Blog] (scienceblogs.com)