May 5, 2014 - Issue: Vol. 160, No. 66 — Daily Edition113th Congress (2013 - 2014) - 2nd Session
BILLIONTH BAKKEN BARREL; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 66
(Senate - May 05, 2014)
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[Page S2647] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] BILLIONTH BAKKEN BARREL
Mr. WALSH. Mr. President, last week, somewhere in Montana or North Dakota, the Bakken formation released its billionth barrel of crude oil. I applaud the hardworking Montanans and other workers who are part of this extraordinary development. As debate over the Keystone XL Pipeline drags on and the President inexcusably continues to delay that project, it is important to appreciate how much has changed in less than a decade in the American energy sector. As the commander in 2004 and 2005 of the largest deployment of Montanans to war since World War II, I understand firsthand the costs of dependence on oil from hostile places. That same dependence costs our pocketbooks. Since multistage horizontal hydraulic fracturing has revolutionized oil and gas production in this country, we have been able to fill our tanks and tractors with more American oil. Yet last year we still spent $384 billion on 3.5 billion barrels of foreign oil. When that comes from close allies like Canada, whose industry is closely integrated with the American economy, we all prosper. But we remain unacceptably reliant on countries who sell us oil and then work to undermine our national security. What does 1 billion barrels from the Bakken mean? That is 1 billion barrels of oil that did not come from places like Iran, Venezuela, Algeria or Russia. It is 1 billion barrels of oil whose exploration, development, production, transportation, and refining occurred in the United States, injecting cash and strengthening our economy at home. While the Bakken boom, like any surge in a single sector, has brought its share of growing pains, overall it has strengthened Montana's economy, creating thousands of jobs in towns from Sidney and Fairview to Miles City and Billings, long-term investments in infrastructure and a skilled workforce. Montana's role in the Bakken is a story of entrepreneurs. The Bakken itself was first cracked over a decade ago by a Billings geologist, Richard Findley, and his team, in the Elm Coulee Field. Montanans have continued to start new small businesses focused on the Bakken. As we celebrate the success of the Bakken, we can also point to other energy projects around Montana that are also helping increase our energy security, from enhanced oil recovery to carbon sequestration for coal. Montana's rich renewable resources: wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass are also creating good-paying jobs and producing energy. I salute these innovators for their continued success to make America more energy secure and create jobs in Montana. ____________________