There’s been a glut of news coming out lately about North Dakota, nationally. We don’t see a lot of it locally, but it’s important stuff we all should know about. I’ve had about fifteen web browser windows open on my computer for a little while. I’ve been meaning to try to write blog posts about each of them. But they keep piling up on me, as does my work, family commitments and other stuff. There have also been a couple local news stories and an editorial many of you may have missed, and so I’ll lump those in here too. So today I’m just going to dump all of them on you, with a recommendation that you read as many of these as you have time to read. So, in no particular order, here goes:
(1) “Race for North Dakota’s Agriculture Commissioner is All About Oil” (Reuters) July 22, 2014
[Doug] Goehring, armed with donations from executives and political action committees at Continental Resources Inc, Whiting Petroleum Corp, Marathon Oil Corp and other companies active in the state’s Bakken shale oil formation, is in the fight of his political life.
His opponent in the November election, Ryan Taylor, is a rancher and former Democratic state senator who threatens to impose stiffer regulations on an industry used to operating with little intervention in what is typically a conservative state.
“We want the oil, but we also want productive land when it’s all done,” Taylor said in an interview on his 2,900-acre ranch, dotted with scores of quietly grazing cows. He went on to say that if elected, “I’ll probably be looking at things in a more critical eye.”
The Ag Commissioner race in North Dakota in 2014 will answer a variety of questions, the most important of which is this: “Are North Dakota voters going to continue to let oil companies put oil company prostitutes in statewide elected offices in North Dakota?” We soon shall see.
More on this from Ed Schultz last night, too.
(2) “In North Dakota’s Oil Bonanza, Natural Gas Goes Up In Flames” (LA Times) July 16, 2014
Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple, saying he is “embarrassed” by a gas flaring record that he says has “been easy on companies,” has vowed that the state will strictly enforce new rules aimed at cutting the waste. State officials say the regulations, which took effect in June, will curb the proportion of total natural gas production flared from 28% in May to 10% in 2020.
“We will reduce flaring — it’s just that simple,” Dalrymple said.
The pledge hasn’t soothed the Leppells, whose 30-acre homestead has become surrounded by three well pads since they purchased it in 2009 — one of them directly on the 1,200-acre pasture they lease. Because they only rent the pasture, they earn no royalties, unlike many North Dakota farmers and ranchers who have become wealthy from oil earnings. They say the state should have required infrastructure for capturing and marketing the …read more