New Railroad Tankers Will Create New Jobs

Posted in Fracking Controversy

New Railroad Tankers Will Create New Jobs

The Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Railroad announced in mid-February 2014 that it will move to acquire 5,000 new, enhanced rail tankers for transporting crude oil.¬† Contradicting some of the more tenuous claims from anti-fracking zealots, the move demonstrates that companies involved with the oil and gas industry are potentially more concerned about public safety than even the U.S. government is. Why? Because BNSF’s announcement comes along with the indication that the freight rail company does not wish to wait for the U.S. Department of Transportation to finish up with approvals on pending regulations on new and safer rail cars. Construction of the new railroad tankers will create new jobs once BNSF receives bids from rail car manufacturers to complete the project. The new rail tankers will feature thicker walls, better safety valves, improved relief valves, and additional safety features that exceed those implemented in rail tankers as recently as 2011. BNSF announced that it will actually own the new tanker cars, making the announcement unusual in that railroad freight companies generally lease the cars they use, while owning the locomotives and actual rail lines. While BNSF did not name specific rail car manufacturers that it expects to carry out the work, the major manufacturers of rail cars in the U.S. include Trinity Industries, American Railcar Industries, and Greenbrier Companies. In 2013, crude oil shipments by rail increased over 70% compared to shipments that took place in 2012. It is expected that this incredible growth in crude oil shipments will only continue as oil extraction continues its phenomenal growth throughout the United States. BNSF is the largest rail shipper of crude oil from the Bakken region in North Dakota. The crude that is recovered in the Bakken region is considered to be a more flammable type of crude compared to the heavier types of crude like that recovered in Canada’s oil sands regions. Bakken crude tends to be lighter than other types of crude, and contains propane and butane making it more hazardous to transport. Such volatility prompted the BNSF announcement, combined with recent tanker car derailments and explosions, the most recent one occurring in December of 2013. BNSF’s concerns about public safety are certainly welcome, of course, but these same concerns should give a new boost to the arguments for moving forward with Keystone XL pipeline expansion. As crude extraction in the Bakken (and other shale plays) continues to grow, the need for transporting it safely increases as well. Let’s hope politicians in both the U.S. and Canada embrace the calls for new pipeline construction along with new railcar manufacturing. Find a job in the Bakken region by checking out the Montana Fracking Jobs and North Dakota Fracking Jobs...

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Fracking Means Opportunity for Rust Belt

Posted in Fracking Controversy

Fracking Means Opportunity for Rust Belt

Youngstown, Ohio was once a bustling steel mill town where jobs were abundant for the town’s residents. Beginning in the 1970’s, however, various factors led to the closings of the area’s mills while the jobs they created eventually dried up. Youngstown, like so many other manufacturing dependent towns in the Midwest and the Northeast United States, lost population as the economy shrivelled up. So many folks left the Youngstown area in recent decades that civic leaders started new and creative ways to deal with the town’s growing numbers of abandoned, vacant homes. Starting only a few years ago, Youngstown’s leadership has been trying to change the community into one where new ideas and businesses can flourish as the once-pervasive “rust belt” persona wanes. Along with these efforts, fracking means opportunity for Youngstown as well. Oil shale extraction is beginning to impact Youngstown not only directly via drilling within the region, but also indirectly as once dormant manufacturing facilities begin to ramp up shale related materials and tools production. But the anti-fracking crowd – always unhappy (like all leftist groups) and ever on the lookout for new ways to be miserable – will have none of it. A once economically devastated city might stage a rebirth via the growth of new technologies? The same technologies that promise energy independence and scores of new jobs? There must be something wrong, something to complain about. Enter folks like Susie Beiersdorfer, who not only opposes fracking, but has attempted to help make the process illegal within Youngstown via charter amendment. Alas, Ms. Beiersdorfer’s amendment went down to defeat this week (Nov. 5, 2013) as Youngstown area voters – for the second time in a year – made the decision to allow fracking to continue in the area. After an agonizingly lengthy period where jobs have been scarce and local youths have opted to seek greener pastures, Youngstown residents know an opportunity when they see one. And one such opportunity comes via oil shale extraction. Despite the often misguided intentions of those who are against fracking, Youngstown voters have chosen – twice – to allow fracking to take place. And to allow fracking to usher in new financial gains for a city badly in need of them. Visit the Ohio Fracking Jobs page to find shale jobs near Youngstown and elsewhere in the Buckeye State… My...

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The Next Oilfield Boom: California’s Monterey Shale

Posted in Fracking Controversy

The Next Oilfield Boom: California’s Monterey Shale

Once upon a time, California beckoned millions of dream seekers from around the world to relocate to its golden shores and take a chance on building fortunes, testing ideas, and creating new industries. Sadly, those heady days seem to be part of a bygone era. In 2013, California’s economy continues to muddle along with a nearly 9% unemployment rate. That rate is in contrast to the average rate reported from the rest of the United States, which sits at 7.3%. Add in those Californians who have “given up” looking for work or those who want full-time work but can’t find it, and the rate skyrockets to over 18%. It seems that decades of government fiscal mismanagement, bloated union-based civic payrolls, onerous regulations on businesses large and small, and out-of-control environmental policies have finally taken their tolls on the Golden State’s once enviable knack for creating an economic powerhouse. Above: even major surfing destination Huntington Beach, California embraces its oil heritage Enter the fracking industry. Thanks to the vast Monterey shale play, which is located entirely within California’s borders, the promise of huge economic gains and outsized jobs creation once again may become a part of the California story. But where there is opportunity, there always lurks resistance. The home of what could be the most productive oilfield in the U.S. is, ironically enough, also home to the most entrenched and well-organized environmental movement in the country. While even California’s current governor Jerry Brown (who once earned the nickname “Governor Moonbeam” for his past “new age” viewpoints on many political matters) has recently come out in support of fracking, many Californians do not share his view. Look for the fight against fracking within the state of California to become messy, despite growing evidence that the practice doesn’t create the environmental dangers that its opponents cry so loudly about. Fracking Jobs takes a look at some significant Monterey Shale facts*: A lengthy history: fracking has been taking place in one way or another in the state of California for over sixty years. Most environmentalists are either unaware of this fact, or simply choose to ignore it. And why wouldn’t they? Being an anti-fracking protester has become fashionable within only the last two or three years, especially in California. Water usage: fracking uses far less water than its detractors claim it does. As an example, the average golf course in the U.S. uses over 300,000 gallons of water each day; while the average volume of water used during fracturing operations of a producing well in California was about 116,000 gallons in 2012. Huge potential: the Bakken shale play in North Dakota, perhaps the best known shale region in the U.S., is estimated to contain over 4 billion barrels of the nation’s shale oil. By contrast, the Monterey shale play is estimated to contain nearly four times as much shale oil as the...

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How Fracking Benefits Oil-Free States

Posted in Fracking Controversy

How Fracking Benefits Oil-Free States

Wisconsin, AKA “America’s Dairyland”, isn’t known for vast oil shale deposits like those found in North Dakota, Texas, or Ohio. And yet, fracking benefits oil-free states like Wisconsin as oil shale production increases in the U.S. and around the world. Wisconsin, for example, is home to some of the world’s best deposits of the course-grained sand prized by the fracking industry. Because fracking uses sand mixed with water and chemicals to force out shale-based oil and gas deposits, the sources of that sand, like Wisconsin, are getting increased attention. Frac sand is now a $1 billion industry in the state of Wisconsin, and experts are forecasting incredible growth going forward. Businesses related to frac sand mining are seeing big gains as well. For example, the railroad industry stands to gain indirectly from the increases in fracking and frac sand production. Rail is the most efficient way to move frac sand from its source to where drilling occurs. Meanwhile, more CDL jobs are also opening up in Wisconsin as some of the transportation of frac sand must be accomplished via truck. Some estimates are forecasting that as many as 3,000 new jobs may be created in Wisconsin from the growth in frac sand mining and transportation. Indeed, the companies that are involved in frac sand mining are donating funds for philanthropic and educational needs to those Wisconsin communities like Maiden Rock which are home to large frac sand mining operations. However, like fracking itself, the practice of mining frac sand is not without controversy. Environmental, safety, and noise concerns must be addressed whenever any type of large industrial undertaking is started in or near a community. However, it appears that these concerns are being dealt with responsibly within the state of Wisconsin. The economic and job gains that frac sand mining, and fracking itself, are producing are beginning to overwhelm the arguments put forth by those who are opposed to the practices. To find out more about the regulations, codes of conduct, and safety measures that are already in place for Wisconsin’s frac sand mining industry, visit the Wisconsin Industrial Sand Association website. Find your next job in Wisconsin within the frac sand...

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Renewable Energy Refineries Create Louisiana Jobs

Posted in Fracking Controversy

Renewable Energy Refineries Create Louisiana Jobs

Can the fossil fuel industry peacefully coexist with the renewable energy industry? In Louisiana, the answer is yes, thanks to a recent agreement that will allow the state to become home to three new “bio-refineries”. Let’s all hold hands together now and sing: “Kumbaya”. Cool Planet Energy Systems is a company which uses small refineries to take organic materials such as wood waste or forest castoffs and converts them into fuel – hence the term “bio-refinery”. Each of the three refineries expected to be built in Louisiana will have the ability to process 10 million gallons of fuel for existing vehicles in use today. In addition, the bio-refining process will produce “biochar” as a by-product. Biochar can be used by farmers to increase plant water retention while helping to reduce the carbon outputs from plants. This means that Cool Planet’s bio-refining¬† process will actually reduce carbon gases. (No word yet from Al Gore, who makes a very enviable living marketing “Chicken Little” environmental scare tactics. Mr. Gore would do well to note that the marketplace is solving the mythical greenhouse gases problem without a Nobel Peace Prize level guardian, but we digress…) It is expected that the new bio-refineries will be built in Alexandria, Natchitoches, and a third site that has yet to be announced. Find refinery jobs in Louisiana...

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Even the Saudis Are Concerned About Fracking

Posted in Fracking Controversy

Even the Saudis Are Concerned About Fracking

Saudi Arabia has long been one of the world’s top producers and exporters of petroleum. For decades, oil exports have created enormous amounts of wealth for this desert kingdom while supplying an increasingly fossil-fuel thirsty world. But recently, even some prominent members of Saudi society have been voicing concerns about their country’s dependency on oil production as the United States and other countries ramp up their own fuel productions via shale extraction. Billionaire investor and Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal has publicly voiced concerns regarding fracking and its potential to disrupt and severely weaken the Saudi economy. The prince, in an open letter to the Saudi oil minister, outlines his worries that the Saudi economy must develop more diversified revenue streams beyond oil. In fact, oil revenues currently make up as much as 92% of the Saudi economy. Not a good thing, when many countries around the world – including one of the Saudis’ biggest customers, the U.S. – are finding new and large oil resources in their own backyards in the form of shale deposits. For the most part, the Saudis have been an ally of the U.S. over the years. Nevertheless, overreliance on any country for important resources such as oil can be a potential Achilles heal for America. Indeed, Middle Eastern oil, with its accompanying perpetual political and social turmoil, should boost fracking expansion if only to increase national security. Why import oil from potentially hostile nations (such as Iran or Venezuela), or those that don’t necessarily share U.S. economic interests (like OPEC nations, one of which is Saudi Arabia)? In the not-too-distant past, news from the OPEC nations that oil price increases would be implemented would cause worry for everyday consumers within oil importing nations. Thanks to fracking, those days are coming to an end. Chart from the U.S. Energy Information...

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