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Fracking became a victim of its own success, but because everything is connected, the law of supply and demand affects humans, too.When demand for labor dropped, it meant that the supply of workers was suddenly too big.
Hollin Kretzmann, a Center attorney, criticized state regulators for failing to do their job of protecting precious water supplies from oil industry pollution – and urged Governor Jerry Brown to take action to halt the environmentally destructive practice of fracking in California.
Everybody’s selling something, and everybody’s buying something else. The oil spewed uncontrolled like this for nine days, losing an estimated 850,000 barrels (35,700,000 gallons) of oil, until it was brought under control.
Public domain photo by John Trost, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Apartments built in a hurry to shelter incoming oilfield workers sat empty, remaining workers increasingly turned to charity just as donations dropped, and even the dancers in the adult establishments had a hard time making enough money to pay the rent, once the oilmen left town.
Things went back to the previous version of normal.
This is what underwrote the expansion from cities into suburbs, the mechanization of agriculture (and the fertilizers that sparked the Green Revolution), and the explosion of consumerism.
Eventually the demand for oil went up, and the supply of oil fell, so the price rose.
Market corrections that involve people can be incredibly painful.
People may be individuals with hopes and fears and families to feed, but the labor they sell is a commodity now, just like oil, and when nobody wants what you have to sell, you must find some other way to live.
That meant there was a huge supply of oil, and not much demand for it… Since there was more of it to sell than there were people wanting to buy, oil was extremely cheap.
(In 1901, there was so much oil coming out of the ground in Texas that the price dropped from to three cents a barrel.) It’s impossible to overstate the effect cheap, abundant oil had on the national (and international) economy.
Women may be the “suppliers” of sex, but men are the “suppliers” of the valued, more expensive commodity of marriage.