OUR VIEW: SD should do all it can to prepare for oil boomIt’s good to see South Dakota leaders working in advance to prepare for what many expect will be an oil boom in this state.
By: Editorial board, The Daily Republic
It’s good to see South Dakota leaders working in advance to prepare for what many expect will be an oil boom in this state.
Gov. Dennis Daugaard spent time recently setting up working groups that will study what will happen if North Dakota’s oil boom spreads south and crosses South Dakota’s border.
One of the groups will predict the size and location of possible exploration and production, and the other will look at how the infrastructure in northwest South Dakota can handle the possible influx of people, machinery and pollution.
All indications are that South Dakota will be next, and could experience some of the effects — both good and bad — that North Dakota is now experiencing.
Yes, the North Dakota boom has been an economic windfall for that state. We hear that the state coffers are bulging.
We also hear that good folks are being crowded out of places like Williston and Dickinson as thousands of workers come in to work the oil fields. Basic services and governmental agencies are stretched thin.
Do we think South Dakota’s possible boom will be as big as North Dakota’s? No, we don’t, but that probably won’t stop people from coming and giving it a try.
In an award-winning news story on South Dakota oil that was written last year by The Daily Republic’s Denise Ross, it was reported that a company out of Texas bid more than $500,000 at a state auction to lease nearly 67,000 acres in northwestern South Dakota to explore for gas and oil.
Commissioner of School and Public Lands Jarrod Johnson said he feels the company is “looking for the next big thing.”
The Daily Republic report also noted that the city of Faith recently struck oil while drilling for water.
So, yes, we predict some kind of rush will happen in South Dakota. It’s best this state prepare for it, because it won’t all be good.
Gov. Daugaard and other state leaders are wise to do all the preparing they can today, knowing that tomorrow could be a strange and uncomfortable time for northwest South Dakota.