Serious reading: The New York Times today has the second installment of a major look at the oil exploration boom in North Dakota, propelled by hydraulic fracturing. It’s produced jobs, a ripple of prosperity and huge sums for the state.

But those who think it comes without risk of environmental damage, lax regulation and political corruption need only delve into this massive project and then think again.


The waste pits of a previous North Dakota oil boom — still uncorrected — stand as testimony to the legacy of played-out busts. This is why realistic taxation and tough regulation are better on the front end of a new energy play — I’m thinking Fayetteville shale, naturally — than after the drillers have moved on.

Here’s where the series began.

And in today’s installment, the “worm turns,” as environmental concerns get more attention.