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.

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