House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) today released “TESORO: Made in the U.S.A.,” a new video in which local resident and refinery worker Ron Day – the Environmental Health and Safety Manager at the Tesoro-Mandan Refinery – tells the economic boom story of North Dakota oil and gas production:
“In 1952, they discovered oil in North Dakota. In the early 80’s it actually went into a contraction. The economics of refining were so bad they were looking at downsizing refineries or shutting down refineries,” Ron Day said in the video. “We didn’t know where we were going to get our next barrel of oil, then the Bakken came along and everything is history after that.”
In 2005, crude oil production in the state was an average of 98,000 barrels per day. With the introduction of advanced technology like hydraulic fracturing, the state was able to skyrocket production to more than 575,000barrels per day in 2011, making North Dakota the second largest oil and gasproducer nationwide and the state with the lowest unemployment: 3%.
“It’s no longer a sleepy little North Dakota town. We are hustling and bustling, we’re growing and it’s a great opportunity for North Dakota and Bismarck,” Day explains. “Engineering companies which were nonexistent historically, they are all expanding which helps the refineries because now we have local engineering support. All of a sudden they are opening up satellite offices and creating a lot of new opportunities for our engineering students coming out of college.”
Over the past decade, North Dakota’s average household income has increased 38%, jumping from $34,604 in 2000 to $47,815 in 2010.
A recent Citigroup report argues that more domestic energy production like the kind outlined in the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act – unveiled last week by House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy – could mean 3.6 million new jobs, enough to cut unemployment by 2%.