Blogging from a ‘man camp’

Covering politics and economic development in the upper Midwest these days invariably brings about a conversation about North Dakota.

Have you heard? North Dakota is booming.

And it is, mostly owing to massive new oil drilling projects in the west. Conservatives like to point out North Dakota’s more lenient regulatory environment and lower taxes as the reason for the growth. Liberals like to point out that if it weren’t for the demand for the natural resource found beneath North Dakota the state’s economy would in the same boat as the rest of the Midwest.

I don’t think the truth is exactly “in between,” but I do think the two theories melded together — high-demand natural resources and an “all in” political approach — in some form explains the massive scope of North Dakota’s economic boom in the west, which is actually visible from space.

But regardless of your opinion about the “why” and “whether,” I think everyone will find fascinating the details of the “what” and “how.”

This new blog by a oil field worker living in what is commonly called a “man camp” near Williston, N.D., is a simple personal blog detailing life in western North Dakota, making good money and working like a dog.

Something about this guy’s perspective, which is a little rough around the edges at times, reminds me of descriptions of workers on the Iron Range some 100 years ago. Camp life. Wondering about loved ones and friends who are far away. The only difference is the modern labor practices and internet access.

I am happy for our brothers and sisters in North Dakota, but as you can see “man camp” economic development is highly specialized sort of thing, not something that’s easy to transfer across state lines, if only because there is no oil here.

Follow “I Am Here” for stories from the western oil fields.

h/t Bob Collins, NewsCut.

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