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North Dakota Songwriter’s Song Striking a Chord

November 2, 2010

BISMARCK, N.D. - In these days of nasty political ads, there is something refreshing gaining popularity on YouTube - a North Dakota singer-songwriter who has come up with a song that brings attention to problems in the drilling fields of the western part of the state. Kris Kitko says the state's leaders knew that an oil boom would bring unprecedented growth, large numbers of people, big truck traffic, and huge drilling rigs to the Williston area. She says they did not prepare for that.

"The roads are being ripped up and not repaired; there is not enough money set aside for the repairs; there is not enough money set aside for ambulance service or EMTs; basic infrastructure needs are being neglected."

The song called, "Frack That Oil," also points out that rents in the area have jumped to two to three times their former levels and are now out of reach of many people in oil country.

Kitko says the goal of the song isn't to point fingers.

"Mainly it's to raise awareness; I'm a folk singer and I wanted to express myself. I'm not attacking anybody but there are people who are responsible for making these decisions and I wanted to shed a little bit of light on that."

Many state leaders say such concerns are overblown, pointing to the state's relatively strong economy and job market. Kitko says that during the state's coal boom of the 70s, there was a stewardship requirement for the land.

She says the song is free to the public and can be downloaded and passed around as people please.

The video for the song is at www.youtube.com

Dick Layman, Public News Service - ND