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Author Archives: Rob Port

By Rob Port | Google+ Rob Port is the editor of http://sayanythingblog.com/. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

We need Keystone now more than ever

pipeline

By: Rob Port With oil train derailments much in the news of late, it’s clear that America needs expanded energy infrastructure now more than ever. But even this plain evidence of that dire need may not be enough to crack the political shell around one of the most contentious energy projects in the history of America. One outspoken supporter of ...

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Oil creates rhetorical problems for Dems

jobs

By: Rob Port, Bakken.com According to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, the number of North Dakota millionaires grew significantly from 2012 to 2013. “In 2012, North Dakota ranked 43rd, one spot behind Alabama,” reports the the paper. “Last year, it moved up to 29th, one ahead of Florida.” A boom in energy production in the state’s western energy ...

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Skewed crime numbers for western North Dakota

crime

By: Rob Port, Bakken.com Of all the things causing angst among denizens of the Bakken region, crime and traffic are probably causing the most consternation. Which is understandable. Crowded highways. Overtaxed rails. Stuffed-full prisons. Overworked cops. While the explosive growth of the oil boom has been great for North Dakota and the region in the aggregate, there are side effects ...

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If you oppose pipelines, you support train derailments

pipeline

By: Rob Port Between the Christmas and New Year holidays North Dakota got a wake-up call. Two trains, one carrying crude oil from the Bakken oil fields, collided near Casselton resulting in massive explosions and mushroom clouds. Thankfully, nobody was hurt, but the potential for tragedy was there. If the derailment had happened in Casselton, instead of outside it, or ...

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Common Sense Regulation

growth

North Dakota’s political leaders like taking credit for the state’s robust economic growth and rock-bottom-low unemployment rates. To hear some of them talk, you’d think they planned for the oil boom. Put the oil and gas under the ground and then created the economic conditions, and the industrial know-how, to pull it up above ground at a profit. Of course, ...

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A Tale of Two Tribes

Native American

Oil and gas development, and hydraulic fracturing specifically, are controversial political topics. Even in North Dakota, home to the world-famous Bakken oil boom, those issues can be divisive. Case in point, consider the differing opinions on fracking coming out of two of North Dakota’s tribes. In November of 2011 at the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation the group “No Fracking Way Turtle Mountain Tribe” presented a resolution to ban fracking to the Tribal Council. “I know there’s an oil boom and it’s providing a lot of jobs, but we can’t risk contaminating our water on the Turtle Mountain Reservation for the sake of money,” Carol Davis, a member of the group, told the Minot Daily News. According to that report, Davis also claimed “that only a few would get rich from the fracking process, while the remaining population would be left to languish with contaminated water.” The tribal council passed the resolution, throwing a monkey wrench into planned gas leases for some 45,000 acres of reservation land. On the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, things have taken a much different route. The Three Affiliated Tribes which make their home on that reservation have been downright protective of fracking. “I can find no authority for the Bureau of Land Management to regulate activities on Indian lands, including hydraulic fracturing,” tribal leader Tex Hall told members of the House Natural Resource Committee’s Subcommittee in 2012 according to a report from the Minot Daily. “Although the BLM has jurisdiction to regulate activities on ‘public lands,’ Indian lands are not public lands,” Hall said. “Indian reservations are set aside and reserved for the exclusive use and benefit of Indian tribes. Neither the Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976 nor the Department of Interior’s Departmental Manual provide BLM with direct or delegated authority over Indian lands.” This affirmative position on oil and gas development on the reservation, even through the fracking process, has paid dividends for the tribe. Since the tribe signed an oil tax agreement with the State of North Dakota in 2008, oil development on the reservation has produced $315.3 for the tribe (and $445.4 million for the state). According to this Associated Press report the tribe is taking in revenues at a whopping $40 million per month clip. It’s a sad reality, and thanks to a history of cruelty and double-dealing perpetrated by the government, that North Dakota’s Indian reservation are home to some of the most impoverished people in our state. Money can’t buy happiness, as the Beatles sang, but $40 million a month in revenues can do a lot to build schools, promote commerce and generally change the economic and social trajectory of the Fort Berthold Reservation. The Turtle Mountain Reservation isn’t home to anywhere near the size of oil and gas reserves that the Fort Berthold Reservation is, but it’s a shame that tribal leadership at Turtle Mountain are willing to deny their people the fruits of oil/gas development because of political fear mongering.

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Natural gas report indicated hidden environmental risks

Natural gas pipeline

Posted at Marcellus.com  by: Rachel Morgan, Beaver County Times, Pa. WASHINGTON, D.C. — There could be hidden environmental impacts of replacing coal with natural gas, a new report says. While burning shale gas instead of coal in power plants releases less than half the greenhouse gas emissions than coal, the shale boom also has set into motion additional sources of ...

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Ag still important to North Dakota

field

By: Rob Port | Bakken.com “North Dakota is in an enviable position and will outperform the U.S. for the next several years thanks to its booming energy industry,” reads a recent economic report from Moody’s distributed to state legislators and other leaders. That’s not exactly surprising news. Every month it seems the State of North Dakota sets a new oil ...

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Growth in concealed carry permits aren’t unique to oil patch

By Rob Port There is some frustration in North Dakota over concealed carry permits. Under state law, the Attorney General’s office is supposed to issue a ruling on a permit application within 60 days. But for a lot of applicants that’s not happening. They’re being forced to wait months longer than 60 days. Not surprisingly, that’s causing some consternation. And ...

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