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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Cheap Gas Has a Price

I got married in December 1981. That month was the highest rig count in Oklahoma history. How do I know this??? Because my husband worked 25 years for a company that built pumping units. A few months after we married, the Oil Boom went bust and our community,  the headquarters of Halliburton, was suddenly in crisis. I was only 19, but I remember knowing middle aged people who lost everything they worked their whole life for. It was hard on Mike and I, but we were young, other people saw their ship sink just before what was supposed to be their "Golden Years". It was sad times in the oilfield. I've lived in Duncan now for 34 years, and the rise and fall of the oil industry never gets easier to watch. The stress takes it's toll on not just those connected to the oilfield, it takes it's toll on everyone in the community. I worked for a doctor for 9 years. When the oilfield was in a slump, our office felt it because we did pre-employment physicals, DOT exams, and worker's comp services to many employers connected to the oilfield.  The ripple effect of "cheap gas" and "cheap oil" is wide and deep. While people are celebrating that they can fill up their gas guzzling SUV's for a fraction of the cost they paid 6 years ago, families are losing their jobs, their income, and the self-worth felt when you are a productive employee.  The last couple of years have been difficult in our neck of the woods and there is no predicting how long we can rock on like this. One thing about being in the oil industry.... It keeps you on your knees as you cling to hope of a brighter tomorrow. Next time you fill up your SUV, say a prayer for all the families that are paying the price of cheap gas.

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