Fracking Looming on Election | VideoJennifer Joas | 10/31/2012
Hydraulic fracturing is a crucial part of operations in the Bakken oil field. That`s why some in western North Dakota are concerned about the upcoming election. They claim that a certain winning candidate could ban fracking and cause the economy to plummet.
"There`s just a concern, I think, with Obama, that he doesn`t necessarily understand really what`s happening in the oil industry, what is it`s doing for not only the local but the state and the nation. And so you`re finding companies who are saying, `We`re going to just put things on hold until after the election,`" said Williston Mayor Ward Koeser.
Koeser is worried that, because of environmental concerns in other states, the federal government could go beyond regulating and put a moritorium on fracking. If fracking is banned, the activity in the Bakken would stop.
"Booms are very fun and they happen fast. Busts happen much faster. People around the whole state would not believe how fast it would get quiet," said Koeser.
"This industry could be severely adversely impacted. The problems with it is that without hydraulic fracturing, this industry is not going to move forward, it is not going to maintain. It is not going to happen," said Kathleen Neset, Neset Consulting Owner and Geologist.
But Neset says she hopes the impact the Bakken is making on the country will influence any future regulations.
"It is so big and has such an impact on our country, that I honestly do not think that the EPA would, in good faith, come in and stop what we`re doing just for some outside interest," said Neset.
Koeser says he believes that as more wells are drilled and start producing, the industry will be less vulnerable to government regulations. The Obama administration has given no indication that it plans to ban fracking.