Founder and CEO of Facebook has continued his tour of visiting rural America and showing everyone how out of touch he is. This time he visited Williston, North Dakota and met with energy sector workers who were positively impacted by the election of President Trump.
This is coming just on the heels of the Facebook titan visiting Iowa last month to have a milkshake…
Zuckerberg posted on his Facebook page:
The invention of new techniques to fracture rock (fracking) to extract oil led to a boom where tens of thousands of workers moved from all around the country to pursue new jobs in this industry.
They come here because these are good jobs where people with a high school diploma can make $100,000 a year.
When the Dakota Access Pipeline was approved, that removed $6-7 per barrel of cost from producing oil in the region, which brought more investment and jobs here. A number of people told me they had felt their livelihood was blocked by the government, but when Trump approved the pipeline they felt a sense of hope again. That word “hope” came up many times around this. One person told me the night the pipeline was approved, people lit fireworks and rode trucks with American flags down Main Street to celebrate.
It’s interesting to see this perspective when science overwhelmingly suggests fossil fuels contribute to climate change, which is one of the great challenges our generation will have to deal with.
Many people I talked to here acknowledged this, but also feel a sense of pride that their work contributes to serving real needs we all have every day — keeping our homes warm, getting to work, feeding us, and more. They believe competition from new sources of energy is good, but from their perspective, until renewables can provide most of our energy at scale, they are providing an important service we all rely on, and they wish they’d stop being demonized for it.
One Facebook commentator asked Zuckerberg if he got ‘a sense that these guys knew the end was near?’
Zuckerberg replied, ‘They seemed fairly optimistic. One fact I found interesting is that current fracking technology only allows them to recover 6-8% of the oil in North Dakota. So they believe that as technology improves they’ll be able to pump more at lower prices and continue going for a while.’
At least Zuck finally knows why Trump won the election.