There’s at least one state in the union that is happy about the overuse of fossil fuels and the subsequent rise in oil/gas prices – North Dakota. Yeah, North Dakota. It is a state and the 20-30 people who live there add to the 304 million+ population of the U. S.
Turns out there is oil under them grasslands, two miles under. “Landowners in western North Dakota have a much better chance of striking it rich from oil than they do playing the lottery, says one local. Some of their neighbors in the town of about 120, from bar tenders to Tupperware salespeople, have become “overnight millionaires” from oil royalty payments.
Can anything good come our of North Dakota? Wait! That’s Nazareth. Apparently there is, at least for dozens of people who are millionaires through no fault of their own other than being born in the right place. Kind of reminds us of the middle east, eh? North Dakota is expected to produce a record amount of oil this year.
In 2005 there were 266 millionaires in the state. In 2006, there were 388, an increase of about 50%. 2007 figures aren’t out yet. One University of ND director is predicting that half of the county’s population of 4,000 will be millionaires in the next 3-5 years. In 1997, ND ranked 42nd in per capita income. Last year, it ranked 30th.
And all because of the rest of the world gluttonously consuming oil. As for me, I still don’t want to live in ND. But, I’d think about it.