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Photo: Kendell Hunt

“Williston is what it would look like if Halliburton tried to colonize the moon.”

The oil boom in western North Dakota has fascinated the nation. A variety of news outlets have done pieces highlighting the economic phenomenon. Today Vox.com released an interesting, descriptive and unbiased picture of the oil boom in North Dakota. Its author, Libby Nelson, poses the question,“what will North Dakota do with its newfound wealth?” Along with this question, Nelson discusses the infrastructure woes of places like Watford City and Williston in an interesting voice. She describes entering Watford City as, “Oil pumps bend rhythmically, like giant praying mantises, in fields full of dead sunflowers and indifferent cattle.” She continues, “Williston is what it would look like if Halliburton tried to colonize the moon.”

North Dakota’s wealth does need a distinct channel, considering that in just over two years the North Dakota Legacy Fund will be available for the state to use as it sees fit. The fund currently holds over $ 2 billion dollars that can be allocated to any project that the state may need, provided legislatures approve it. Nelson proposes in one segment of her article that Fargo, ND may be a great channel for its money to go into. Fargo has chosen an interesting path for the city to go down, dreaming of a knowledge-based economy that thrives off of technology jobs requiring an education. Fargo also houses many of the area’s most prominent universities, which could use state legislature’s support. The biggest risk involved in investing in higher education in the state is that students will leave immediately following graduation. Read more about this economic theory at Vox.com.

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