oil

Once a day, a train carrying crude oil from North Dakota's Bakken oil fields rumbles through Bismarck, N.D., just a stone's throw from a downtown park.

The Bakken fields produce more than 1 million barrels of oil a day, making the state the nation's second-largest oil producer after Texas. But a dearth of pipelines means that most of that oil leaves the state by train — trains that run next to homes and through downtowns.

Brendan Gibbons, / Missouri Drone Journalism Program

  In North Dakota’s arid badlands, huge tanker trucks rumble along the hundreds of new dirt roads that web the mottled landscape. They roll over slotted metal grates that keep cows from wandering onto drilling pads. A metal sign pockmarked with bullet holes reads, “Little Missouri National Grassland: Land of Many Uses.”