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A few weeks ago I received a mass e-mail from an old and dear family friend, of my parents generation, containing a passionate article about the discovery of a huge oil reserve in the Western United States.  It is in a formation known as the “Williston Basin” which is commonly referred to as the “Bakken.”  The article asked, quite reasonably, “Why aren’t we drilling for oil in the United States instead of overseas?  The e-mail further urged recipients to “spread the word” to their friends, elected representative, etc..

I thought this question deserved a little thought and some discussion but before I go into that, let me share the link to the US Geological Survey (USGS) website and an article there that seems to support the assertion there is about 2000 years worth of oil right under the Rocky Mountains: http://www.usgs.gov/newsroom/article.asp?ID=1911.  It also plays right into current discussions about “peak oil.”
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Welcome to the reformatted and resurrected Daily Diatribe.

The idea for The Daily Diatribe was born around 2001 or 2002, when I had just begun my first stint as an Airline Pilot with Mesaba Airlines. Our union, The Airline Pilots Association or “ALPA” was engaged in a protracted labor dispute with airline management. I found myself writing posts on the ALPA online forum translating for my colleagues some of the misinformation the airline management was feeding us. For example, we were being told that the airline was losing money and had to be supported by our “parent” airline, Northwest, in order to survive.
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