John K. Eickhof, Published January 26 2014
Letter: ND oil development slowdown would be mistake for economyThe Bakken, even with its challenges, is a place of opportunity and success that extends to all of us in North Dakota. Whether it’s Fargo, Devils Lake, Jamestown or Grand Forks, companies across the state are fueled by the growth of our state’s energy industry.
The industry offers opportunity for our children unimaginable just a decade ago and attracts new families to our state. Both groups are buying homes, filling our stores, and growing our schools. In Grand Forks, our city has created Access the Bakken, an effort to encourage companies to locate in Grand Forks while offering goods and services in western North Dakota, using access to our workforce and Highway 2 as strategic advantages. The effort has identified more than 100 companies in Grand Forks who rely on the Bakken for business.
At Construction Engineers we are proudly part of the many companies in Grand Forks benefiting from North Dakota’s oil and gas industry. Since 2008, we have managed the construction of corporate facilities, a new school in Watford City, and numerous other public infrastructure projects within the Williston Basin. Each of these projects was a direct result of the Bakken oil boom and has allowed us to hire new workers and contract with many other companies from eastern North Dakota to help us with our work out west.
All this work, whether by our company or others, is helping to better the quality of life in western North Dakota. Improved roads are easing traffic while new stores and restaurants improve quality of life. The shift of the industry from drilling to production, along with construction of new housing and new schools is attracting permanent employees and families who choose to make the region their permanent home. We cannot forget the benefit the Bakken brings to all of our communities.
When you hear the media or others advocate for slowing down the industry, please remember that slowing down the Bakken will slow down all of North Dakota. A slowdown means less construction, manufacturing and engineering jobs in both eastern and western North Dakota. Instead, support the region as it continues to build great communities and provide great opportunity.
Eickhoff, Grand Forks, is president of Construction Engineers, which does work in the North Dakota Oil Patch.