Emily Guerin | Prairie Public Broadcasting

Emily Guerin


It's been months since most Americans have had a professional haircut. Salons have been shut down under stay-at-home orders to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In Los Angeles, the result has been a robust clandestine haircut scene.

Highway 22 road trip

May 12, 2016

Dickinson, North Dakota is a very different place than it was two years ago, when this oilfield town of less than 30,000 people was one of the fastest growing cities in the country. Since then, the price of oil has fallen by more than 50 percent. Nowhere are signs of the slowdown more visible than along Dickinson’s Highway 22. I decided to take a road trip to see what had changed along oil bust alley.

A proposal to define who can and cannot comment during oil and gas hearings is coming under fire. As Prairie Public's Emily Guerin reports, some worry the change would limit public involvement in oil and gas development.

An oil company with a track record of spills has had another big one -- a large saltwater spill at an oil well pad outside of Williston. As Prairie Public’s Emily Guerin reports, it’s the 12th largest saltwater spill since the Bakken oil boom began.

Around 114,000 gallons of saltwater ran into a dry creekbed after breaching the berm on a well pad. The spill was likely caused by a broken valve on a pipeline, according to the North Dakota Department of Health.

Dustin Bergsing was a young, fit, bull rider from Montana. On a cold night in January 2012, he climbed to the catwalk on top of a 20 foot tall crude oil storage tank that was located on an oil well pad in North Dakota’s Bakken oilfield. His job was to pop open the small hatch on top and drop a rope inside to measure the level of oil. Just after midnight, he was found dead by a co-worker, slumped on the catwalk.

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North Dakota's economic fortunes have taken an abrupt turn for the worst. This is after 15 years of receiving almost entirely good news.