Sunday, April 24, 2016

It Goes Up, It Goes Down

The problem with resource extraction economies is that when the prices tank or the resources dry up, economic, environmental, and infrastructure devastation are left behind.

Still, the downturn has depressed local economies. The traffic that energized and disrupted rural life has subsided. Sales of clothing, food, and vehicles are down. Skilled welders have taken jobs at Walmart. Unemployed workers stay home and don't spend.

"Just the sheer volume of people in restaurants, hotels, even at some charity events, they're definitely not there anymore," said Stan Foster, chief operating officer of Superior Energy Resources L.L.C., a Brockway, Pa., gas field-services company.