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12 Signs That The Economy Is Really Starting To Bleed Oil Patch Jobs

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Oil Rig Texas - Public DomainThe gravy train is over for oil workers.  All over North America, people that felt very secure about their jobs just a few weeks ago are now getting pink slips.  There are even some people that I know personally that this has happened to.  The economy is really starting to bleed oil patch jobs, and as long as the price of oil stays down at this level the job losses are going to continue.  But this is what happens when a “boom” turns into a “bust”.  Since 2003, drilling and extraction jobs in the United States have doubled.  And these jobs typically pay very well.  It is not uncommon for oil patch workers to make well over $100,000 a year, and these are precisely the types of jobs that we cannot afford to be losing.  The middle class is struggling mightily as it is.  And just like we witnessed in 2008, oil industry layoffs usually come before a downturn in employment for the overall economy.  So if you think that it is tough to find a good job in America right now, you definitely will not like what comes next.

At one time, I encouraged those that were desperate for employment to check out states like North Dakota and Texas that were experiencing an oil boom.  Unfortunately, the tremendous expansion that we witnessed is now reversing

In states like North Dakota, Oklahoma and Texas, which have reaped the benefits of a domestic oil boom, the retrenchment is beginning.

“Drilling budgets are being slashed across the board,” said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, which represents more than 500 companies working in the state’s Bakken oil patch.

Smaller budgets and less extraction activity means less jobs.

Often, the loss of a job in this industry can come without any warning whatsoever.  Just check out the following example from a recent Bloomberg article

The first thing oilfield geophysicist Emmanuel Osakwe noticed when he arrived back at work before 8 a.m. last month after a short vacation was all the darkened offices.

By that time of morning, the West Houston building of his oilfield services company was usually bustling with workers. A couple hours later, after a surprise call from Human Resources, Osakwe was adding to the emptiness: one of thousands of energy industry workers getting their pink slips as crude prices have plunged to less than $50 a barrel.

These jobs are not easy to replace.  If oil industry veterans go down to the local Wal-Mart to get jobs, they will end up making only a very small fraction of what they once did.  Every one of these jobs that gets lost is really going to hurt.

And at this point, the job losses in the oil industry are threatening to become an avalanche.  The following are 12 signs that the economy is really starting to bleed oil patch jobs…

#1 It is being projected that the U.S. oil rig count will decline by 15 percent in the first quarter of 2015 alone.  And when there are less rigs operating, less workers are needed so people get fired.

#2 Last week, 55 more oil rigs shut down.  That was the largest single week decline in the United States in 24 years.

#3 Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes has announced that it plans to lay off 7,000 workers.

#4 Schlumberger, a big player in the energy industry, has announced plans to get rid of 9,000 workers.

#5 Suncor Energy is eliminating 1,000 workers from their oil projects up in Canada.

#6 Halliburton’s energy industry operations have slowed down dramatically, so they gave pink slips to 1,000 workers last month.

#7 Diamondback Energy just slashed their capital expenditure budget 40 percent to just $450 million.

#8 Elevation Resources plans to cut their capital expenditure budget from $227 million to $100 million.

#9 Concho Resources says that it plans to reduce the number of rigs that it is operating from 35 to 25.

#10 Tullow Oil has reduced their exploration budget from approximately a billion dollars to about 200 million dollars.

#11 Henry Resources President Danny Campbell has announced that his company is reducing activity “by up to 40 percent“.

#12 The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is projecting that 140,000 jobs related to the energy industry will be lost in the state of Texas alone during 2015.

And of course it isn’t just workers that are going to suffer.

Some states are extremely dependent on oil revenues.  Just take the state of Alaska for instance.  According to one recent news report, 90 percent of the budget of Alaska comes from oil revenue…

But oil is also a revenue source in more than two dozen states, especially for about a third of them. In Alaska, where up to 90 percent of the budget is funded by oil, new Gov. Bill Walker has ordered agency heads to start identifying spending cuts.

Sadly, it looks like oil is not going to rebound any time soon.

China, the biggest user of oil in the world, just reported that economic growth expanded at the slowest pace in 24 years.  And concerns about oversupply drove the price of U.S. crude down another couple of dollars on Monday

Oil declined about 5 percent on Tuesday after the International Monetary Fund cut its 2015 global economic forecast on lower fuel demand and key producer Iran hinted prices could drop to $25 a barrel without supportive OPEC action.

U.S. crude, also known as West Texas Intermediate or WTI, settled 4.7 percent lower at $46.39 a barrel, near its intraday bottom of $46.23.

There is only one other time in history when we have seen an oil price crash of this magnitude.

That was in 2008, just before the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.

Many believe that we are now on the verge of the next great financial crisis.

I hope that you are getting ready.

  • Smokeman

    In 2004 I moved back to Florida. A relative was telling me I have to buy a house…you are nothing without property. I followed my gut and rented. I am better for it today.

    After I was laid off from my last job, another relative told to drop it all and move to North Dakota and get an oil field job. The only problem was that upon arrival, I would have no job and be living in my car. I did not go…great move.

    Last month a sister told me to leave my old folks Florida city and move to Texas. I said I would have an issue with working in Texas. I speak English. I guess I won’t be moving there either.

    • tacoma

      TX will be first state to secede when push comes to shove. It’s the only state that have experienced independence and that attitude still around. And it is big and rich enough to pull it off.

      • alan

        I thought about moving there once to get in before I needed a visa.

        • Orange Jean

          I’ve thought about it myself. The only thing is I don’t like humidity (so it’d have to be west TX), tornadoes scare me, and the only jobs in my field I’ve seen are all in the humid eastern parts (especially Austin, land of liberals in a sea of others).

          But I like their attitude, and the truth is… I’ve never yet met a Texan I didn’t like!

          • Lone Star State Mama

            With a good attitude such as yours, stop on in if you are ever in the Panhandle. We can use more people who think like us.

          • Orange Jean

            Thanks, I’ll check out where that is. Might end up retiring one of these days and I need to keep alternatives in mind!

      • With Fortitude

        We’ve already seceded. The rest of the country just hasn’t realized it yet.

        • Lone Star State Mama

          LOL. Shhhhh. Don’t let the secret out.

        • tacoma

          Well then tell your governor to be mighty careful about those Californians exiting that state like Mexican illegal migrants. Do I have to say those Hollywood type made a fine mess out of their Sunset state?

    • alan

      I live in Florida and some what thankful I picked there a long time ago. Yes the collapse has hit very hard, but the weather is good for growing and not freezing. Our water table is 6 feet, so water isn’t a big deal.

      • steve

        I think West Virginia is a good example of where we are headed as a nation…or Mexico.

      • tacoma

        Sorry, but water will be a big problem down the road. When sea level rise a foot or two and FL territory will get downsize by half. But I suspect you won’t be around …

    • With Fortitude

      No most of your Mexicans are in good ole California. Texas Mexicans cut the grass , work construction and taco bell.
      Still everyone speaks English (hard to believe)

    • CharlesH

      Isn’t it funny how everyone knows how YOU should live YOUR life?! They’re all telling you to move and do this or that but where are they – right where they are – they haven’t done/gone any place. I love people always giving me advice.

      • Smokeman

        And the majority of them want to see you fail.

  • EconomyTrap

    Fed stops QE3 in July of 2014, value of dollar goes up, and oil falls. Compounding the inverse relationship of the value of the dollar and oil is the surplus’s of oil the world has seen since 2008. It’s a double whammy.

    • Lennie Pike

      If, and it is a big if, the fed stops QE3 or 4 or whatever it now is, it will be much more than a double whammy. Most think it will be QE infinity until either WWIII begins or those insisting on individual freedom are rounded up and murdered.

  • jakartaman

    If I did not have kids and grandkids – I would love to sit back and watch the show. I could even join the party with my xx,xxx rounds of ammo and several guns.
    For the doubters – do you really think this ponzi scheme could last forever?

    • britt

      Interesting and selfish comment. So as long as your kids and grandkids are not involved in the fighting you would be game and not mind one darn bit about watching people tear each other to pieces. Not even considering the fact that someone elses kids and grandkids would be caught in the crossfire?

      Think about that statement for a minute. Social unrest and chaos is not a party. It is not something any of us should ever want to happen. We should all be grateful things are not that bad and hope that they never, ever get that bad. (Although in other parts of the world people are experiencing this wonderful party you refer to. Maybe you should ask them exactly what is so fantastic about it and clue you in onto what you have to look forward to).

      People are capable of the most inhuman and inhumane behaviors when they see other people engaging in terrible acts of violence.

      Humanity as a whole is a joke. Our entire race and species it seems is selfish (in all parts of the world not just the US).

      The word human it seems only applies to people and their immediate
      circle of loved ones. The rest of the population can just burn…At
      least that is what it sounds like to me.

      There are times I just get so tired of this world. The way things are. The way we treat each other. Some of it is a conditioned response, some of it is learned behavior. I just see the reality of our human nature and just think what is the point? Even good people once they get a taste of power and control can and do turn bad. It is a never ending cycle that will never end.

      • jakartaman

        Well it nice to see someone that is so unjudgemental. – You know me not yet you judge.
        My point was simple although it seems to have escaped your judgmental eyes. I am Old and my life, I feel is less important than my children and grandkids – nothing was said of others. They will have the opportunity to prepare or make decisions for themselves. Good luck – You seem to be a person who is looking for the Government to save you and your family – Thanks for the sermon.

        • britt

          Defensiveness and ego. Another 2 of my favorite human emotions. Perhaps you should reread your original post without the ego attached. While you may be old your compassion for those who will be left to suffer should never wane. We should never wish terrible tragedy on anyone.

          I understand that it can be difficult not to sometimes. We all suffer from this sickness. A symptom of our own frustrations regarding the world we live in.

          You still believe that your kids and your grandkids lives are more important than others who do not share your own bloodline.

          I am not looking for any person or entity or agency to save me. I already know that this life is merely a transition to the next. A proving ground so to speak. A place of learning, pain, hope and love all wrapped together in one crazy package.

          What makes me sad is that many cannot see the world and it’s inhabitants for what they really are. For what we really are.

          Imperfect creatures.

          • jakartaman

            Please post the mind reading course you graduated from. I am neither defensive or have a big ego – I lived a very good and productive life. I have all the tee shirts etc. I do not look for approval. I am a doer not a whiner – You want something – do it yourself.
            I am not one of your cumbaya metrosexual men. I do not WISH – Compassion is and excuses are for losers – What is coming is going to separate winners form losers.
            Its an old story that we have gotten away from – Survival of the fitted makes the specie stronger – Humans have lost this via technology and government handouts o mostly the stupid. This is coming to an end.

          • carljr

            “If I did not have kids and grandkids – I would love to sit back and watch the show.” Sounds like britt is right about what you posted. I wonder if you are a christian – since most who post here claim this moniker.

          • jakartaman

            Have you read your bible lately.
            The Old testament is loaded with violence some ordered by GOD – Think Joshua at Jericho- He was ordered to kill all living things in the town men, women, children and animals. Also jesus was not a Pacifist, some of the Disciples carried the ar-15 of the day (sword) St. Peter being one – remember him taking the ear almost off of one of the guards.
            I am a Christian warrior – I leave the preaching to the Ordained. Would I help a fellow man – of course. But I would not help those that are going to be the ones coming for what I have because they were lazy and stupid. Those would be casualities

          • britt

            You sir are not st. peter, nor god. Christians sure are funny. I guess since god murdered a bunch of people it makes you chomp at the bit for it even more.

            All religions, especially christianity are a bunch of bs. Next time you are in church maybe you should ask the preacher to talk about turning the other cheek, forgiveness and all that feel good nonsense.

            Another reason I believe that all religions even the so-called christians are all pathetic victims of brainwashing. Yes the human condition is alive and well and so is the reality of the sick, evil pride and thoughts that exist in all men.

            No religion will ever change that. After all we are just exactly what god made us to be, aren’t we?

          • GSOB

            Romans 5:10

          • Priszilla

            God killed the first born and asked Abraham to mutilate his son.
            Men was made in gods image.

          • jakartaman

            Ok its clear now who you are.
            Did I say i was anyone other than myself?
            Obviously YOU are a part of the GODless problem – And NO -I would not help you one bit. GODS wrath is on the earth because people like you have turned your back on GOD – read the bible for the details.
            Your arrogance is screaming – You are clueless

          • britt

            You do realize that this country was indeed founded on the very godless principles you are crowing about. The things done to the Indians alone is enough to make anyone stop and take pause. Not to mention the segregation of blacks, senseless murders, staging coups in other countries to put the people we wanted in place in other countries, etc, etc.

            You have no idea how godless the leaders of this country have always been. God is not taking his wrath out on this country or any other country. Instead you would rather regurgitate the same old sing and dance about how the people of this great united states were once so pious and so morally naive and innocent that god blessed them with wonderous wealth and a great place to live.

            Our country is the product of fruit that was willing to do the dirty work so we could have the things that we once enjoyed and believed made the us such a great place in comparison to most of the rest of the world.

            A clever ruse that served it’s purpose for a season. Now that season is over and we are going to experience what the rest of the world experienced, because a new agenda is at play and it does not involve keeping Americans fat, happy and in the dark.

            The reason this earth is hellish is because of people not because of god. Let’s take some responsibility for the shape of this nation both morally, socially and economically.

            People are who they are. Some are good. Some are bad and some do good sometimes and bad other times.

            This has nothing to do with punishment. It is just the way it is.

          • jakartaman

            Wow – I did you get sooo smart?
            Don’t forget to matriculate Kid
            Just another GODless American hater and Obama supported – sorry that was redundant

          • GSOB

            Colossians 1:21, 22

    • alan

      Depending where you live you could see endless waves of looters passing by. I live in the south and if this train derails I expect millions to flood south to escape the winters up north.
      My guess is any city over 100,000 in the northern states is unsustainable, simply by cutting wood and hunting / gardening. There will be a mass migration if this goes bad.

      • FortuneSeek3rz

        They would turn tail and run back northward once the heat and humidity of a southern summer hit them.

  • T.

    Where now does a person migrate to in order find a high paying job? All those high paying oil patch jobs are vaporizing before our eyes. There is no where else to go and nothing on the horizon to take their place. America is sinking rapidly. Now add to the sub $50 oil price the rising dollar which is killing the Emerging Markets bonds and the Swiss decoupling from the Euro – We are entering into a full blown World Wide Financial and Economic Crisis. Have you started your preparations? The greatest Financial Storm the world has ever witnessed is gathering on the horizon.

    • Tim

      I live in the upstate of SC, and there are many big corporations here that employ a lot of people in good paying jobs–Michelin, BMW Manufacturing, IBM, General Electric. But it is hard to get a job with one of those companies. It’s even difficult to get a job at the local Costco. Costco jobs pay pretty well.

    • autofixer

      You can move to northern VA and sell your soul to the .gov.leviathan.

      • Tim

        Been there, done that. Glad to have gotten away from that area.

        • alan

          Been offer jobs there, won’t go.

      • Smokeman

        The largest employers in the state of Virginia are the federal and state governments. Southeast Virginia is one massive military complex with an inflated economy…and one huge 24 hour traffic jam.

        • Erine

          I think we got out of there just in time. However, we still have one child who lives in Newport News :(

          • Smokeman

            State tax, personal property tax, meal tax (Virginia Beach), and many parts of town that are very bad.

        • Orange Jean

          I live there and I agree.

          I find there are a lot of liberals amongst the defense contractors (and I was surprised among even some active duty military)… which surprised me.

          I’m not liberal and I really don’t like the place, although were I live (rural Isle of Wight county) is a lot better than where I work (Portsmouth). But at least there are jobs, and I’ve got one that pays reasonably well. I’m in my 60s so even with good skills and experience it’s limited where I might otherwise find a good job.

          At least where I live there are some neighbors I really like. Oddly enough, despite the fact I’m the supposedly hated “Yankee transplant”… the only people I really I get along with well here are mostly redneck type native Virginians (and some active duty service members, of the more conservative type). Who’d have thought (with me being an ex-hippy)… but then I’ve lived conservatively for most of my life and came from sort of a hillbilly family.

          • Smokeman

            My niece and her husband live in Smithfield. It’s a very nice area. My brother is retired military and lives in Chesapeake. Whenever a city or region relies on the government for the majority of its paychecks, the area becomes a real rat race.

          • Orange Jean

            I’m about 6 miles outside of town and my address is Smithfield because that’s who delivers the mail; but I’m really in the unincorporated area. It’s both pretty and much safer than most of Hampton Roads, albeit a bit of a drive.

            I get made fun of at work a lot by the young people who’d rather live in awful places like Portsmouth or Norfolk,

    • jhowell882

      does this remind anyone of the dot com collapse? same $hit different day

    • FortuneSeek3rz

      The healthcare sector in the U.S. is booming. Nursing, pharmacy, physician assistants, physical therapists, occupational therapists, medical lab techs, radiologists, care givers and more. These are secure jobs with good benefits, good pay and regular raises. Hospitals and other health care facilities cannot up with the demand.

      • T.

        Obviously you have not heard what ObamaCare is going to do to the Health Care Industry in 2016 – When IT takes full effect. All of your previous responses on this blog of – How great the high paying job market is today in America in so many sectors – Proves you are a shill for this corrupt present day Government. You continually ignore statistical job data – And spout your Government Lies.

        • FortuneSeek3rz

          Grow up. The demographics in America is opening up opportunities in healthcare for the next 25 years. Whether or not you choose to believe that is irrelevant. The U.S. is still #4 in the world in household income and will continue to remain strong in the global picture.

          • Wally

            Lies. The latest data available is from 2012 and in 2012 according to Gallup the US was 6th.

            Google hospital closing 2014 and you will see article after article of closures all from reputable sources. Google hospital closing due to obamacare for more results. A March 24th article from USC says this “Deloitte’s 2013 survey of over 20,000 physicians notes 62% say that “it is likely that many physicians will retire earlier than planned in the next one to three years. ” Medical facilities closing, Doctors retiring, Google healthcare layoffs and there are many results.

          • Mike Smithy

            I laugh every some Obamabot thinks that Obamacare means access to quality healthcare. They are in for a very rude awakening.

          • “The U.S. is still #4 in the world in household income and will continue to remain strong in the global picture.”

            Household income is actually declining; the rising GDP is in fact financed by debt as it must be in any society where most money is made from debt. From a stable proportion from the 1940s through the 1970s when money was largely created by government. private and public debt has risen to astronomical proportions to shore up the system. In order to maintain the appearance of order interest rates have declined significantly, harming savers and creating bubbles. We no longer have an industrial economy to speak of outside of cars and weapons of war. When will you wake up?

          • FortuneSeek3rz

            Go watch another episode of Walking Dead. Meanwhile the rest of the USA is enjoying the greatest economy in the world. The tallest midget is getting taller while you negative nancies stick to your delusional nonsense.

          • Dollars are only high-priced because the U.S. is sending them abroad in record amounts to the likes of Saudi Arabia. Wake up from your parallel reality; few other than the very rich have benefited much under President Stock Market.

          • Kapricorn4

            I have another theory. There are so many defaults on US dollar based loans that it shrinks the money supply. For example, student loan debt is around $1.3 trillion, with a third of university graduates in default.

            Add to that the money stashed offshore in tax haven bank accounts also effectively reduces the money supply, causing deflation. This is why the federal reserve is busy buying corporate bonds in order to add liquidity, but all it has accomplished is to pump up the stock market. Once they stop pumping, the market will deflate.

        • We need true universal health care as is practiced in nearly every other advanced country, not corporate O’bummerCare. However we should not implement it until we have a sound money system based on government-issued, sovereign dollars rather than private bank money; otherwise the healthcare system will be financed by debt (private or public) that ultimately someone has to pay interest on.

      • Medusa00

        Until Obamacare swoops in and destroys the health care sector.

      • Your rosy comments aren’t fooling anyone. Unless you are here to satirize the words of Barack “Stock Market Boom” Obama, you have not contributed anything productive.

        Public and private debts are growing, banks are creating more money to meet this demand, and are getting rich off the interest and pumping it into the stock market. The people are encouraged to borrow and impoverish themselves by the likes of Paul Krugman, while corporations and banks get richer.

        Obama has been a tremendous benefit to the banks and wealthy beyond the wildest Republican wet dream. Wake up to reality, please.

    • Well if your Republicans hadn’t voted to offshore all of our good car plant, steel mill, machine tool, and rubber industry jobs there would still be plenty of good jobs left in those industries to choose from.

      I saw an ad for forklift drivers today at Interstate Warehouse, a good-sized multi-State frozen food warehouser, and Sysco is hiring IT Specialists I & II at a couple dozen of their food warehouses nationwide too.

      I personally think that the 1979-1983 double-dip recession was worse myself.

      • smallergovnow

        Clinton signed NAFTA and the giant sucking sound that Pero warned about did the offshoring you are ignorantly blaming republicans for…

        • Smokeman

          Ross Perot and son are now making a lot of money off of that giant sucking sound. If you can’t beat them, join them.

        • There’s no point in arguing over our major political parties – both are corrupt and in the hands of the rich. Neither of them has in modern times undertaken, for example, to take large industries out of the hands of Wall Street shareholders (detested by Tea Partiers and socialists alike) or to abandon our debt-backed private money system and replace it with one based on sound, Treasury-issued money.

        • Actually it was Reagan who signed the WTO, the same year that he signed the Acid Rain Act, which tripled the fuel costs of southern Great Lakes heavy industry, and he later signed the first US and Canadian free trade agreement too.

          It is too bad that Clinton didn’t veto NAFTA and then get his veto overridden as then you righty’s wouldn’t have been be able to falsely blame him either.

          What about your man GW signing free trade laws with 30 different countries back when your Republicans had control of Congress? That fact doesn’t count?

        • DaveK913 .

          Also, the elder Bush was NAFTA’s original sponsor and when Clinton signed NAFTA, democrats still had a majority in both the house and senate.

          When Clinton signed Graham-Leach-Bliley, the final dagger for Glass-Steagall, republicans had the majority at the time.

          Both parties are complicit, going back to Nixon cutting the cord to the Bretton Woods system and whether it was supposed to be temporary or not is immaterial because it became permanent.

          You rub my back, I’ll rub yours and oh, screw the citizenry while we’re at it.

          ’79-’83 was bad but we still had the manufacturing sector to fall back on in the 80s and the service economy expansion accelerated throughout the 80s and 90s.

          My stance is, we never really fully recovered after the dot com bubble burst. The economic expansion in the 90s was due to the dot com bubble and the onset of the housing bubble. Just prior to the bursting of the dot com bubble, we started shedding manufacturing jobs. Now there are 33%, around 6,000,000 fewer manufacturing jobs then there were 16 years ago. 6,000,000 more manufacturing jobs would probably come in handy right now, wouldn’t they?

    • Priszilla

      With dropping home prices, dropping food prices, dropping fuel prices you don’t need a high paying job to survive and still save a little.

      • Orange Jean

        It’s obvious you have no idea what the cost of living is in this country.

        In my area there are jobs… (some still good paying) but the lower end of housing costs to buy has “dropped” to about $250K a year (but are more often in the $350K+ range)… hardly something you can afford without a high paying job. When I looked 8 years ago the most I could get a mortgage for would be $160K and for that price the only houses to buy were falling apart homes in gang infested areas…. so I decided to keep renting.

        Cost of rentals in this area range from a low of about $850 a month (rent for my house, a very low cost in this area… but I have to commute 70 miles a day to get that cost and I also pay about $160 in utilities, not including phone) to at least $1,200+ a month if I were to live closer to work in a very high crime gang infested area…. no thanks.

        Food prices have risen, not dropped where I live. Gas for the commute is the only thing that’s gone down.

        • Priszilla

          Sounds really bad. I got my parents a house at an auction for 50k Euro. But then, in Europe our houses are a bit smaller. 50sqm you’d probably call a shed and not a bungalow.

          • Orange Jean

            It varies a lot from place to place in the US, what the particulars are.

            And I do appreciate hearing from people who live in other countries… but it’s far more helpful when you talk about what you are experiencing where you are actually living, or when you give suggestions that are more generalizable. For example, yes… it is always a good idea to live below your means if at all possible.

    • none

      GOOD NEWS “T”.
      The Russians have started to support the petro currency again!
      A few days ago it was announced, that the Russians had started a rumor that they where selling all of their gold!
      Then when the price of gold, silver dropped. The T-Bills shoot straight up.
      Then they cleverly sold all T-bills at the peak price.
      Bought up all of that worthless gold.
      Now people in this country will buy less of it!

  • K

    It is sad how many will end up losing their jobs. I suspect there will be whole towns, lost to these shutdowns. I have been out west and have seen what is left of towns, where mines have closed down. Hard to imagine a sadder sight. Also not far from me, layoffs in the coal industry have been happening as well. I will not even go into, how little merchandise is in the local stores. Anyone who can not see what is coming, has to of chosen, not to see.

    • Smokeman

      It’s okay. Obama wants to help the middle class. Many of these unemployed will not be able to afford their Cobra health insurance. Nor will they be able to afford the Obama care deductibles or premiums. And then comes the lack of insurance fines enforced by the IRS. Thank you Barack Obama.

      • alan

        I heard lots of free stuff and the rich will be paying for it!

  • Mondobeyondo

    Looks like the oil boom is about to go bust, especially if oil prices remain low. There may be an exodus of people from North Dakota looking for (non-frozen) greener pastures…

    • autofixer

      Oil prices will stay low long enough to destroy the fracking and oil sands industry. Then we’ll get to see those $150 per barrel prices everyone predicted.

      • guy

        Its a nice dream but just a dream to see 150$/br any time soon. I bet it’ll take at least 3 years to go above 100$

  • steve

    Back in the 1960s, when gas was $.25 a gallon, there were frequent “gas wars”. Two or more stations would engage in a game of chicken. How low could they go? Just healthy competition, and what did the station owners care if a worker or two was laid off? I think that we’re seeing a larger version of those “gas wars”. What do the oil companies care if some workers lose jobs over this healthy competition? No financial crisis will come of this. It is just a matter of seeing who blinks first.

    • Guest

      From the article:

      “There is only one other time in history when we have seen an oil price crash of this magnitude.

      That was in 2008, just before the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression.”

      • alan

        Rome I think might have been one of the greatest collapses, we will rate a close second. 2008 was only the beginning.

    • Guest

      I am an oil field wife. If my husband gets laid off, we will hope for unemployment checks and a new job to surface ASAP, but mostly we will be planning on living very sparingly on our savings until something else comes up. I don’t think the government has the funds to feed a paycheck to every unemplyed oil worker.

      • Orange Jean

        Point well take (re: unemployed). I hope things go OK for you and your family.

        A thing to remember though is there are always some jobs that are in a “bust/boom” type of cycle, it’s the nature of some work. Some types of engineering, anything related to real estate, development or planning, architecture come to mind.

        I used to work in one of those fields and it paid well and was fun work, but when I got laid off I decided I didn’t have the tolerance for working in a bust-boom kind of work and found another type of job. At least I was warned in advance (one of my co-workers, who had worked in and out of the field for decades told me not to buy a car on credit, in case the business collapsed again). I was hired during a boom time, it took about 2 years for it to start going belly up, and I got laid off after 3 years.

      • Lone Star State Mama

        Hoping the best for you.

  • Richard

    “Sadly, it looks like oil is not going to rebound any time soon.”
    Why sadly, Michael? You seem quite content for people to pay over the odds for gasoline and heating. Really?

  • Genada

    I think retail numbers are going to end up being hit hard by this and the effects of the ACA.

    It’s a nice little boost to the retail sector to get tax returns, a lot of people are going to be finding tho they are going to get a smaller return then they expected. That’s going to hurt retail.

    It cost more to get your taxes done this year as well.

    So all and all a consumer based economy has a lot hitting it this year which would tell you that demand is going to be down. Now it’s time to debate, was the moment the Titanic hit the iceberg the moment of crisis or when it sank?

  • tacoma

    What caused the oil price crash? Well, let’s look at what caused the oil boom first. Everybody knows it is entirely caused by shale oil production in the U.S. rising from near zero 6 years ago to today almost 5 mb/d. That’s half of Saudi Arabia output. And if you add oil from other sources such as Alaska, the U.S. produces more than Saudi today. U.S. 11 mb/d, Saudi 10 mb/d. Russia is 9 mb/d. Rest of the world combined about 5 mb/d.

    So the ‘sudden’ vast increase in shale oil production means there is an over-supply worldwide. Is the world, and I mean all countries except the U.S., going to cut productions by 5 mb/d to maintain $100/b oil? When it is the U.S. alone that has increased production and not they?

    The answer of course is a big NO. So price goes to $45/b, and maybe lower. It is a oil price war. It will go on until somebody crash and burn. Those with highest production cost will crash first. Guess who has the highest production cost? Yup, shale oil – between $80/b to $65/b depending on patch. Even higher than Canada tar sands which is $50-$60/b. Russian oil cost is low, estimated to be about $40/b (exact cost is a state secret) so they won’t crash. They will suffer due to drop in revenue, but so is OPEC and others.

    Yes, I bet that shale will crash first. Because it is run by venture capital small companies, with huge near-junk bond debts, because shale patches are risky and unpredictable, because the high cost cannot be lowered. While Saudi oil is state owned and cost is like $10/b – it will never crash. And it is the Saudi who sets the world price, not the U.S.

    The shale venture will be remembered as fun few years in about a year’s time. It made a few billionaires and venture capitalists billions. Good jobs for a few years. Then it’s all over. I remember something like this happened in recent past. It’s called the .com bust and the housing crash. Soon we will have the shale burn.

    Why can’t the U.S. have an economy not based on blow-ups? Good question.

    • alan

      Because dirt bags jump in with free Fed money and bid everything to the moon. Then bail out.

      If the demand for oil has dropped something like 30% where is all the excess oil gone? All the countries say they are not cutting back.

      I always heard the oil shale deal was a big deal over nothing. Its would cost way too much and produce virtually nothing. So as usual the stories are mixed up so no one can figure it out.

      So either Russia was the target
      Or US oil shale was the target?

    • Billzo

      I have to disagree with you slightly. This is more about government sanctions and manipulation than oil supply. We have had an oil boom for some time, however, prices remained stable (high). Now, in a period of months, all of a sudden we have a huge surplus, and thats the reason? We have had a surplus for a long time. US is putting pressure on Russia to hurt their economy. Even though we have a surplus, no one country is decreasing its production.
      If you think about it, this is a win for Obama in at least three ways:
      1. Low oil prices/manipulation puts pressure on Russia.
      2. Low oil prices are welcomed by the American consumer.
      3. Low oil prices give an argument for the need of the Trans-Canada Pipeline.
      This ‘sudden’ drop is created by governments. Just my take.

      • tacoma

        Guess what. I agree with you. While shale oil is the big picture, the sudden pricing collapse is government made. Anybody with a clear mind will suspect Obama playing revenge on Putin and damn the rest of the world oil producers. This is Obama’s war; it fits all his personality and ideology. He fired his WMD and found the perfect cover.

      • Nick

        This isn’t so much about Russia as it is about Iran. Iran just today I think said they are now selling zero amounts of oil in dollars. Iran is arch enemy of Saudia Arabia. If Iran gets nukes SA is finished in the middle east!

  • Robert Fanning

    get a grip. What if the Keystone or some other pipeline is fast tracked ? Then you’ll be wringing your hands about oil prices dropping as production increases. We just invested a trillion, what do you think, the creditors are going to shut off their own cash flow?

  • Ray

    Yeah but cheaper gas means I can now commute longer to finally go to a job I went to school for.
    As far as the article I agree with most of it however let these oil workers go reinvent themselves, they might have to start at Walmart or wash dishes and do manual labor gigs like I had to while gas was so expensive I couldn’t drive far.

  • Genada

    A lot of people are reading these articles and seem to be thinking it’s some kinda of shill on behalf of the oil companies. It’s not, he’s trying to attempt to show that there is a downside to low oil prices, even if there’s a upside to it for many others. Most things are not a zero sum game, there’s always downsides and upsides. People need to be aware of both.

    Many people are happy about lowering prices, I am myself. The thing about it tho is that there is going to be many downsides for those that are now making a living off of this sector to our economy. Most of our growth over the last six years has come from it and that’s now going to be going into reverse and it’s going to be a net loss for us for a while. That’s something to be concerned with.

    Think of this way as well. When housing prices were going down, many people were quite upset to have the value of there home go down. Yet on the other hand there were those that were happy to be able to buy a home for cheaper. So there was winners and losers there as well. Same thing here. It doesn’t make you a shill to point that out.

  • MadAsHellYankee

    I see the western started currency war is paying dividends, for real. You know, the shale industry is getting hit harder and sooner than I thought for sure….

  • Obama = Mission Accomplished moment

  • goldminer

    Michael . You forgot to add 2 US steel plants closing. One in Texas and one in Ohio. They make drill steel and well casings for oil exploration. Thousands of jobs affected. For every 1 oil worker who looses his or her job many, many other workers will loose their jobs who support the oil industry. It takes many people to support one oil worker doing their job. . Wait till the oil Junk bond, derivative tornado hits our bankrupt economy in a couple of months.
    If you are not getting prepared now its too late.
    Or you can wait for QE4 to save your sorry soul.

    • sharonsj

      You can add all the retail chains that are closing hundreds of stores each and throwing many thousands out of jobs. P.S. When these folks cannot find new jobs and need unemployment insurance, public assistance and food stamps, I don’t want to hear you bitching and moaning about how they are “takers.”

      • Mike Smithy

        If they voted for President Zero in 2012, and subsequently lose their jobs because of his policies, then yes, yes and hell yes, they are takers.

        • The only real “takers” are the banks that have recieved 3 trillion in QE money to spin it up into ten times that much money or more out of thin air in the form of loans, and the corporations whose profits come from taking a cut out of what labor produces. End the criminally abusive debt-backed money system and give control over (but not capital in) large companies to their workers, and the welfare state would be a much smaller affair centered on the sick, disabled, elderly, and youth, not the working-age male population.

  • VegasBob

    Job losses will also cascade into other areas as oilfield job disappear. Plenty of bartenders, waitresses, and retail clerks are going to receive layoff notices as well.

  • alan

    If they are shutting them down then they believe they will be down for awhile, not temporary, like I was thinking. Then in a couple years they will be in a junk yard in Africa being stripped down for scrap.

    My son does pizza delivery and it will help him, well maybe a couple bucks. Theoretically transportation costs should drop, tourism should go up. Fertilizer for the farmers will go down. Plastic junk from Red China will go down a little.

  • Priszilla

    If you earn $100, 000 per year and live on $10, 000 per year, after 5 years you can buy a house from savings and don’t need to worry about interest and foreclosure.

    • Orange Jean

      Not many places in the US where you can live on 10K a year and not many places where you can earn 100K a year or buy a house from savings. Alas!

      • Priszilla

        You mean it’s not permitted to buy a house from savings or a new car and tv are more important to people?

        • Orange Jean

          No, that’s not what I mean. It’s quite obvious you have no idea what the cost of living is in the US or how much jobs pay here (very few are in the $100K or over range, and where they are it is often with a huge housing cost… including rents).

          In order to be able to live on $10K a year you should be paying no more than about $275 a month for housing +utilities (1/3). The last time I saw rents in that approximate range was 1986, when I first graduated from college. Food and gas costs were a LOT cheaper than than now but for the sake of this argument I’ll ignore that. I found work in Boston, paid $350 a month in rent alone plus another couple of hundred for heat… first sharing a 2-bedroom apartment and then renting a small basement studio for that price. However, I was only making $20K a year not your assumed $100K. This was for a job as a data manager and analyst for a medical research study… which required a Master’s degree, computer programming and statistical analysis skills and experience. I did not own either a car or TV. I was paying my student loans off at about $300+ a month and my cost for public transit were over $100/month.

          Nevertheless, in 3 years (before I got laid off… it was a temp job) I managed to squirrel away just over $1000 and I bought a discount train ticket to CA where my cousin promised I could stay at his house free until I found a new job. I had about $800 left, but 3 days before I left town… I had an abscessed tooth and the dental work cost me about $600 (root canal, but I had to wait on getting it capped).

          Realistically speaking the article talks about jobs being lost that paid over $100K in some cases… but my understanding is there was very limited housing in those areas and rentals where in the many thousands of dollars (have to get info on those details from someone who was actually there).

          • Priszilla

            Michael was lamenting the loss of $100k jobs.
            Ok forget $10k per year. We spend about £20k annually for two.

          • Medusa00

            Your numbers are off, but “living below your means” is still the best way to go.

          • Orange Jean

            Now THAT I agree with… although some people make so little they can’t do it.

  • Lennie Pike

    A little off topic with this one, but the three hosts of the CNBC morning show today are lucky they didn’t get eaten during their interview with “Bug Man” (Men In Black) Larry Summers. What a terribly bad liar he is. I could tell he had recently taken a Dale Carnegie course, but of course it didn’t take.

  • pookieamos

    This I do hate to see ! Both of my sons moved to Texas and both are making big money in fracking and drilling. Haliburton employs them. They are both working 100 + hours every week…still.

    • danbax

      tell them to live as if they were broke and save that money

  • XSANDIEGOCA

    Texas very recently was responsible for half the jobs created in the US over any given year. Something tells me the 2016 SOTU may have a different tone or Barry O will just send in a written summary before he decamps for Hawaii, again.

  • Midwesterner

    Although every job is important the jobs in the oil industry would have a bit less effect if there were other well paying jobs available. BUT because of NAFTA & other legislation that has allowed most of our manufacturing to go to other countries we are now forced to fight over peanuts. I paraphrase what Ross Perot said about “that giant sucking sound” because of NAFTA. In hindsight he was right on that point.

  • AG47

    Everyone better get squared away. Something ugly is headed this way.

  • grumpyhillbilly

    Enjoy the lower gas prices. A huge tax is headed our way. The U.S. shale industry may have been a bright spot in our economy, but it enriched the wrong folks. They were pre approved collateral damage in the Saudi and neocon war against Russia. No doubt the neocons and the super rich have already insulated themselves from any collapse. The rest of us are just expendable pawns in this Machvaillian game.

  • westernwoman.wordpress.com

    I am an oilfield wife. If my husband gets laid off, we hope that he will get unemployment checks, & a new job ASAP. But we aren’t counting on it. The government doesn’t have the funds to feed an unemployment check to every oilfield worker. If he joins the masses of out-of-work Roughnecks, the short-term answer for us will be living very sparingly off our savings until we replace the job. That is what the personal emergency fund is for.

  • DrD78

    If lower oil prices mean lower gasoline prices, doesn’t that mean people can afford to buy more fuel to go more places? If that be the case, why then the lay off of people in the oil industry…If the demand is higher shouldn’t the oil companies need as many or even more employees to keep up with the demand? Maybe they were just enjoying the ‘profit’ glut they were taking in, and hiring a lot more people than they needed to make all their jobs easier to do??? Remember Exxon-Mobile was raking in ‘record profits’ (that’s not sales, that’s profit) for all those quarters during the early years of Obama’s rule….they have been ripping the American people off for years! I have no sympathy for the companies. I’m sorry employees are now being laid off, but that is just another example of the greed of the oil companies (and American business in general these days).

    • Jimbo

      When prices are higher, people and business make adjustments to their lifestyles to keep costs down. The most obvious one is to look at the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. They will buy a car that does 40mpg instead of 20mpg and manufacturers will concentrate more effort into efficiency.

      These changes happen over a number of years and will not be undone overnight, if at all. People are not going to rush out today to buy a gas guzzler just because fuel is cheaper.

  • Rufus T Firefly

    Texans are getting their comeuppance and North Dakota is reverting to a wilderness populated only by coyotes.

    • Lone Star State Mama

      What did Texas do to deserve their “comeuppance”? Please be specific.

  • freewheelinfranklin543

    Well looks like the effort to hurt Russia with lower prices for their oil like they did to the Soviets in the late 80’s is backfiring on American workers. But everything DC does seems to hurt America and Americans!

  • CharlesH

    I must have a very short memory. WHAT WAS THE ONE catalyst that made oil prices suddenly starting to drop?

  • charles

    mike don’t hotlink your old articles as references…reference your sources properly….big fan totally agree, bought your book, you should make it into a movie without nicholas cage…lol….any info on the upcoming retirement/ pension crisis/ social security information…i think all that is linked at a timeframe window is gradually appearing…did hear the king of saudi arabia is sick and the princes are about to fight about taking over and oil policy…which coincidently is a prediction from the islamic hadith’s….blog it up for us!

  • GSOB

    No such thing as a free puppy

    • Guest

      What? Another comment from you that makes no sense.

      • GSOB

        Just checking in.

  • Bruce

    As the comments degrade to personal attacks and religious ferver as usual let me say this. Oil will rebound in short order. Before you even get used to reduced pain at the pump the high prices will be back. I suggest that by early to mid 2nd quarter it will be back to where it was or close.
    Don’t get me wrong I fully believe our economy is destined to collapse but it’s not time yet. Our debt is what will crush us and it will continue to grow.

  • jakartaman

    You read it wrong. I am a warrior and will be on the front line. But my first priority is to protect my family and other young and innocent souls.

  • Matt thomas

    Oh well free market capitalism is a fickle mistress. 2 or 3 years living with their folks and they will be hired back. Juat a temporary lay off. Oil will be back at 100 a barel sooner than later. Just enjoy the free gas

    • Is this meant to be satirical?

      • Matt thomas

        I know, right? So its a bad year for oil jobs, but its going to be milk and honey for truck drivers and anyone who uses gas powered equipment. I mean when cancer is cured alot of oncologists will be unemployed but they can work at walmart, right?

        • I’m in favor of environmental protection and would be fine if the oil price reduced as a consequence, but the current, uncontrolled drop in oil production is a disaster because demand is relatively inelastic.

          • Matt thomas

            What does environmental protection have to do with anything? Dont worry i dump my oil down the drain im a real american. We have cheap oil so oil jobs get laid off. Oil will be back up soon 20- 30,000 lay offs happen daily, its just life, they will all be rehired after 6 mo of unemployment welfare. This is a non issue the oil rig guys need a few month vacation.

          • I was continuing on your cancer analogy, which likened oncologists to oilmen and cancer to oil. As for “unemployment welfare”, we already have a very small percentage in the labor force unmatched since the days of single incomes, without the ability to maintain a single income.

  • DarienX

    Oil, just like everything else is driven by supply and demand.
    To insinuate they the rest of us need to pay more to support those who have made poor decisions is ludicrous.

  • Bill

    The dollar at 94.405 seems to have become oblivious to any hint of reality while consumed by manipulation. The DOW is predicted to go as low as 5k or as high as 31k by the end of the year. The new Congress seems to be handing the reins to the imposter.

    As I said recently “events are happening too fast to comprehend let alone write about”. I don’t think I could recognize a good piece of news if it did show up. Yes we are still doomed.

    • Mondobeyondo

      I still think the dollar is going to take a big time tumble eventually. Probably by the end of this year… we may see the dollar index scraping by at 70 or even lower.

      • Bill

        I agree with you and expected a much lower index by now. Helping hands have obviously played a part.

  • SunnyFlaSnotress

    “The Economy is Really Starting to Bleed Oil Patch Jobs”
    There’s a tear in my beer.

  • GPC

    Yes oil prices are dropping. But did one forget many of our prices for Other Goods went up because of oil prices? So he asks are we going to continue the Drill baby Drill attitude, or truly look at other alternatives??

    • jakartaman

      Obama and the Saudi’s are buddy buddy. Maybe its to stop the pipeline

      • GPC

        Who knows, as of today.
        Watched a documentary on the development of Los Angeles. In its beginnings it had underground public transportation. But with the advent of the auto, the Auto Manufacturers bought out these underground systems..
        All because gas was cheap and everyone want to be their own boss.
        And now here is this fine Megopolus..ie Cement byways and highways. Can we suddenly rip up the concrete and go to total Public Transportation?? I doubt it.
        Plus, were the Saudi’s buddy, buddies back then?

        • Orange Jean

          Too much of the country is sparsely populated for that to make sense (attempting to go all public transit). Way too expensive.

          I also heard though that one of the other reasons LA ended up with the auto based culture is there was some big company (I don’t recall which one) that was in the rubber business and was pushing use of cars so they’d make big bucks selling tires!

  • We need to partially nationalize our mineral resources and hold them in common trust for the nation, instead of allowing local oil production to be roughshod by “free market” competition which only serves to damage local industry.

    In the medium to long term, we should move toward massive construction of nuclear power and increased investment in public transit in order to reduce usage and ownership of automobiles to environmentally sustainable level. Really we should be tearing down the suburbs and constructing more compact towns linked to city centers by public transit and internally traversible by buses and bikes. Such changes would lead to massive payoffs in terms of public health and energy independence; the few oil needs that would exist following such a change could be supplied locally.

    • Orange Jean

      Sorry, but I think you have been thoroughly brainwashed! Your suggestions in this post are pure Communist and Agenda 21 B.S.

      • I am proposing ending our addiction to oil. Combustion of oil is a menace to the environment and a menace to public health that has taken a massive toll on humans already. I’m not proposing depopulation of the Earth (which is not what Agenda 21 is about) at all; rather I want to make it sustainable for those who are currently alive and those billions who may be born in the future.

        • Orange Jean

          I appreciate that your are trying to clarify your comments.

          However, my understanding of Agenda 21 is that it aggressively proposes that all people should live in tiny apartments in densely populated cities, but it is also my understanding that they are proposing depopulation.

          There is nothing wrong with trying to convince people to do something you think make sense… but suggesting we all NEED to do things one way and especially to say we nationalize resources and “tear down” someone’s home smacks of communism (as well as theft) in my opinion. I prefer freedom of choice! If you want to live in a tiny apartment in a big city I have no problem with you making that choice… but don’t tell me that’s what I have to do.

          I do not care for suburbs personally, or McMansions… but I don’t think it’s right to tell other people how they have to live.

          I lived for most of my adult life (and I’m “really” 64) in a large city with public transit, which I used. I didn’t even have a driver’s license until I was 38. I was moving to southern CA at the time and when I got there needed a car to live and work where I was (Orange County) which was urbanized but had horrible public transit. Was later laid off and I used that car to get me back East where I was able to get a job after 6 months being unemployed; then gave up the car a year later until I left to go back to CA for a better job.

          After 9/11 I decided to get back to my roots (grew up in the country) and got out of the city though need to work in one. Now I have to have a car if I want to be independent, because I have severe arthritis and other back problems and can no longer walk more than a few feet without pain. And I would NOT be able to negotiate the public transportation system if I wanted to move back to a city. And I think for most people, when the SHTF… the only survivors will be those who have a way to get out of town (if they are in a big city).

          • Again, what I am proposing is not a move en masse to cities. Rather I am proposing the creation of more compact towns beyond city limits, connected to cities by public transit. These towns would have ample nearby farmland and natural land to provide a plentiful food supply in the event of national of international market failure. I don’t want most people to live in tiny apartments in large cities, but more compact housing should be an object of consideration. In the 1950s the average home size was about 1200 square feet, yet large families still managed to live comfortably. Now family size has collapsed while home size has doubled. Per capita natural resource consumption has consequently increased astronomically.

            Even in light of all of this my rhetoric was too harsh. In reality “tearing down of suburbs” would be done only by the consent of the owners, but monetary incentives would be offered for movers to new towns and all future suburban development would have to be in the town fashion. The towns, for their part, would contain about 15% private apartments, 25% private town homes, and 35% single family homes with the remainder being affordable housing or commercial space. The apartments would have areas of about 1000 square feet, town homes 1500, single families 2000. This is a far cry from moving everyone to cities.

            I would not ration automobiles or tax their purchase more than now, but would simply make it more attractive for most people to use public ride-share services of public transit whenever possible.

          • Orange Jean

            You sound more reasonable in this last post, but it was not at all what I would have imagined you were advocating from the first one!

            But why not … instead of tearing down suburbs (even by owners consent)… simply encourage infill development in those areas? Because once developed a lot of times the land can’t be used for agriculture due to residual toxins in the soil, etc. (although some forms of agriculture are actually far more producers of hazardous waste than suburbs are).

            In a number of places I’ve lived this seems to happen naturally over time, as the outskirts of cities become towns (or suburbs) and add mixed land uses to support those towns etc. A maturing of land use, as it were. I’ve seen that in New England quite a bit actually.

            The town I grew up in was originally all farms that supported a nearby city, but over time (20 years or so) became more of a small town and most of the housing had yards, but not huge yards and most of the homes were small.

            Another area in New England … but more urban that I am most familiar with (the north Cambridge/Somerville line area not far from Harvard Square) used to be mostly country that supported the city, but also over time built up, especially after the subway was extended past Harvard Square into Somerville in the 70s or thereabouts and was close enough to Tufts University to support that area. There are still remnants of that area that are used for agriculture… some of which has been used for community gardens.

            A similar situation occurred in Belmont in the Waverly Square area which is at the last stop on a bus line that also connects to the Red Line in Harvard Square; it’s very much a town like area and the outskirts has a lot of open space, parks, etc. Easy to live there and commute into the city for work. Also easy to commute (albeit by driving) into the industrial park areas around 128.

            I also saw this type of thing in San Diego County where I lived, in Alpine… which is about 35 miles from the city, still commutable except there is no public transit that extends all that way… although there is public transit between San Diego and Lakeside, which is the closet town to Alpine. Alpine is about the last developed area, because it’s surrounded on 3 sides by the Cleveland National Forest and its getting into the mountains with terrain so steep its extremely expensive to build. In the town there are both areas that are older and act like a small town or village but also newer areas built up as subdivisions. From San Diego eastward to Alpine the density of development gradually decreases but it already functions largely as you suggested except for not being fully supported by public transit.

          • Infill development would not be a bad idea but it should be more dense and concentrated around historical town centers. As outlying homes are vacated they can be demolished and the land returned to a form of natural or agricultural use. In general, suburban constructions are not designed to last the ages as the great wonders of the world have, so nature should have little problem taking up the land after all of the tarmac, concrete, and wood is removed.

            My own perspective on the issue comes from living in the suburban morass of the Silicon Valley. New suburban developments crop up along the fringes of existing suburbs and create urban centrifugation that harms existing local businesses and the environment. Furthermore, they increase the cost of living by making it essentially mandatory to own an automobile in order to access any sort of shopping, restaurants, etc. As a consequence the local middle class has been hollowed out and the only residents are doctors and engineers.

          • Orange Jean

            I have only been to Silicon Valley once, so I can’t speak to that. But if you really are … “really 20″ in age, you may be surprised how things change over time. I would be concerned however about using a former subdivision as ag land because of the amount of crap we put in buildings (lots of plastic for example) which gets into the soil. Superfund sites are a more extreme example because they are remediating land used for more toxic industrial uses and trying to clean them up so they can be used for something without people getting sick… but I still wouldn’t want to garden in one.

            Having worked in CA in environmental planning though, I’ve got to say there are already in place legal means for improving that sort of problem, generally because of CEQA requirements. If you aren’t already doing so, might I suggest getting involved in your town’s planning meetings.

            It does seem short sited that Silicon Valley made the choices you say though; back 30 years ago the latest “in” thing in planning was to try to avoid “leapfrog” development.. The company I worked for then did a lot of self-mitigating community planning. Whatever do you think happened that they ignored all that?

  • Jimi Shults

    Not sure if someone else has mentioned this yet, but:

    The recent decline in oil production has been predominately caused by Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern major oil-producing nations releasing a large amount of their reserve oil stock. If they drive the price of oil down it hurts Western oil companies – shrinking their growth and thus their market share. Now, these aren’t hard numbers, but think of it this way:

    Say we pay an oil worker 30 dollars an hour. We also pay higher prices for industry gear and materials. We also operate with a higher standard of safety for employees. We also operate with a higher standard of benefit for employees. Most Middle Eastern countries operate with a lower wage, lower industry cost, lower safety standard, and lower benefit standard than Western businesses. This allows them to absorb the profit loss of falling oil prices without reducing their market share – not yet, and not for many years. Honestly they could hold oil prices down for an entire decade if they wanted to before breaking their reserves, or even really harming them too greatly.

    Now, what effects this will have on the overall economy, I can’t really say. I just wanted people to be aware of the fact that the drop in oil value is not coming from some void-plane of abyssal gloom, it’s just a simple run at Western business.

  • RICH99

    How does one get ready for this

  • AntonioOssa

    DRILL BABY DRILL!!!!!!!????……………………..CRICKETS!

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