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Letter: Energy boom worries

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In the well-written Deseret News article “Crude Reality” (Jan. 12), Cody Stewart, Gov. Herbert’s energy adviser, dreams of wresting millions of acres from the federal government in order to duplicate North Dakota’s energy boom.

That drastic action, with scant chance of success, would consume precious dollars, time and political capital. Further, how would such a boom affect things Utahns hold dear: family, community and the land?

The Week Magazine in “Trouble in boomtown” reported: "Small (North Dakota) towns have been inundated with new residents; Watford City went from 1,744 residents to 7,500 residents, including 28 registered sex offenders. The state's infrastructure is buckling.”

Bloomberg News said: “ ‘[The oil boom is] absolutely destroying our infrastructure,’ said [Dave] Hynek, a Mountrail County commissioner, as he sat in a pickup truck on the 1,400-acre farm where his family has grown wheat, flax and sunflowers for four generations."

“ ‘A few years ago, our board set a goal that Mountrail County would be a better place to live and work as this oil play works itself out over the next 30 years,' he said. 'Right now, I would be hard-pressed to find people who agree with that.’ ”

Before milking the cash cow we should make sure it’s not a pig in a poke.

Gerald Elias

Salt Lake City