Thursday, January 17, 2013

North America looks different at night

Recently, NPR's Planet Money podcast did a story about the challenges that Williston, North Dakota faces as it deals with an population boom caused by fracking.  Among other things, demand for housing is so high that rent for a one bedroom apartment is equal to rents in New York City.  Also, local businesses are not growing to meet demand because oil workers are not moving their families to Williston.  This leads to a lack of workers for businesses like Wal-Mart or McDonald's.  Also the piece discusses how Williston plans to make itself attractive enough that the oil workers settle there long term.

Robert Krulwich on his blog Krulwich Wonders has a post showing how the boom in Williston has altered the nighttime view of North America from space.  You should check it out.  To me, it looks like the night view of Williston has the most light of anything between Chicago and the California coast.  Mr./ Krulwich also has a picture of the nighttime view of Williston six years ago.  The difference is astonishing and gives an interesting way of thinking about the growth in Western North Dakota.

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