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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Showing posts with label oil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oil. Show all posts

Friday, April 11, 2008

Shale of a Tale


Now that the report on Bakken Shale is out in public, thanks to the prodding of North Dakota Senator Byron Dorgan, the whole world of oil could be shaken to its core. According to the report, 4.3 billion barrels of oil await under the subsurface of North Dakota and Montana and stretch up into Saskatchewan and Alberta.

Which brings us to some sobering questions: will North Dakota overtake Texas as “the” oil state of America? Will some ne’er-do-well North Dakota cowboy become next in line for the White House? Will filming of “Dallas” be revived as “Dallas North”? It could happen. It’s a lot warmer around here since global climate change set in. [never mind that blizzard raging across our steppes right now—call it the Bush Principal of denyin’ your lyin’ eyes....]

With oil added to our ethanol-producing capacity; our lignite coal which already fuels most of the East Coast, it seems; our wind energy which has admittedly been a bit diminished since Dick Armey packed up and moved to Texas some years back; it does seem that wee little ol’ North Dakota, the state that folks forgot, is about to make its mark on the global energy market.

Which brings us to a sad admission. One walks among us who may not take kindly to this “harvesting” of a great North Dakota resource.

Ole Ben Larssen.

Those like us who have trod the twisting trails of the rugged Badlands swear we’ve passed by his encampment deep among the ravines and scoria. Sage has scoured our nostrils but a faint scent of his passing is unmistakable. Lutefisk, lefse smeared with the rancid fat of animals, strong Norwegian coffee.

’tis said Ole Ben Larssen holds strong religious beliefs that make him ascetic in his habits. No compounds crowded with multiple wives for this man. He roams alone, seeking out the infidels. You know, Baptists, Presbyterians. Shhhhhhh. Methodists.

For Ole Ben Larssen is heir to generations of Lutherans—Missouri Synod Lutherans. His great-great-great grandfather reportedly married outside...to an ELCA Lutheran. But within a generation that aberration was corrected.

And now Ole sits waiting. For the outlanders to come and try to take this oil. To invade the rangeland with their heavy equipment and sidewise sidewindin’ drillin’ rigs. And he’ll bide his time, and wait for his chance.

For the lands of the Badlands are vast. And the range is open. And the muleys roam and the antelope play havoc with hunters’ egos.

But there is just one discouraging word for all the landowners and all the speculators and explorers and wildcatters and bureaucrats and oil scouts and gamblers and hangers-on as they start settin’ up their rigs and readin’ them some legal papers of land rights and water rights and mineral rights and diggin’ deeper and deeper until one day the truth will shine.

As Ole Ben Larssen just smiles, and says “Mine.”

h/t to Mr. Sunshine for primin’ the well of “The Legend of Ole Ben Larssen”