by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Republican legislators in North Carolina aren’t the only ones who see the potential job gains tied to increased energy exploration. Consider an article from the latest Bloomberg Businessweek.
Mark Hiduke recently raised $100 million to build his three-week-old company. The 27-year-old isn’t a Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur. He’s a Texas oilman.
Now that a breakthrough in shale drilling technology has U.S. oil and gas production booming, an aging workforce is welcoming a new generation of wildcatters, engineers, and aspiring oil barons. After years of failing to attract and retain young talent, the industry is suddenly brimming with upstart millennials such as Hiduke—oil and gas veterans call it “the great crew change.” “I’ve never seen an industry do what the oil and gas industry has done in the last 10 years,” says T. Boone Pickens, the 86-year-old oilman. “Ten years ago I could not have made this statement that you have picked the right career.”
Hiduke’s company, Dallas-based PetroCore, received the $100 million commitment from a local private equity firm in May. Hiduke and three partners plan to buy underdeveloped land and drill shale wells, he says. The shale boom has “created a lot of opportunity for young professionals to jump in and be given enormous responsibility.”
More jobs for young adults? Including entrepreneurial opportunities? That sounds like another good argument for moving forward with hydraulic fracturing.