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North Dakota Legislature: What to watch this week

north dakota state gov

BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota’s Legislature is in its last week before its midseason break, and lawmakers are finishing up committee work and considering remaining bills in their respective chambers. Oil taxes and how that revenue should be spent will be the biggest issues debated this week as the session heads toward crossover. A Democratic house member is also pushing ...

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Oregon Senate advances climate change measure

SALEM, Ore. — A bitterly divided Oregon Senate advanced a climate change bill Tuesday, handing resigning Gov. John Kitzhaber the final legislative victory of his nearly four decades in Oregon politics on his last full day in office. Republicans were unsuccessful in several attempts to derail the measure, which aims to spur investment in alternative transportation fuels. It was a ...

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Congressional Democrats seek to step up fracking oversight

WASHINGTON — Democrats on a congressional oversight panel are stepping up their investigation into how well states are regulating the disposal of oil and gas waste, citing continuing public concern about the potential environmental and health risks of hydraulic fracturing. Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., the lead Democrat on a health subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, ...

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Democrats fail to separate oil promotion from regulation

Over the last several years one of the favorite talking points of North Dakota Democrats is the idea that the state’s oil regulators are a bit too cozy with the oil industry. Specifically the Democrats gripe about the opening words of Chapter 38-08 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to the regulation of oil and gas resources. It states: ...

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Senate passes Coal Jobs and Safety Act

CHARLESTON — A 60-page bill dubbed the Coal Jobs and Safety Act passed the state Senate on Tuesday, but not without some objections by Democrats who said the bill is a misnomer that does the opposite of what it says. The bill does develop some water quality standards, establishes enforcement for coal mine-related permits and allows the suspension of a ...

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GOP advances reduction for renewable energy

DENVER — A plan to lower renewable energy mandates for rural Colorado electricity providers has won initial approval in the state Senate. The bill marks another chance for Republicans newly in charge of the chamber to attack a hated law passed when Democrats had full control of the Capitol. The measure would lower the amount of electricity that rural energy providers ...

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Senate Dems block GOP effort to wind down pipeline debate

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats temporarily stalled progress Monday on a bill to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline, the top priority of the Republican-controlled Congress. In a 53-39 vote, the Senate blocked an attempt by Republican leaders to wind down debate. That’s short of the 60 votes needed. The vote caps a partisan dispute — which had the Senate working ...

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ND Dems to file bill aimed at saltwater pipeline monitoring

BISMARCK, N.D. — Democrats have promised to file legislation that would mandate additional monitoring and safeguards for pipelines that carry briny oilfield wastewater. The pledge comes after a 3-million gallon leak near Williston in western North Dakota. It’s been called the largest saltwater spill of North Dakota’s current oil boom Democratic leaders in the House and Senate say their bill ...

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Colorado lawmakers gear up for battle over fracking

DENVER — Colorado Republicans are proposing to compensate mineral owners when a local government bans or restricts fracking. The GOP’s approach has bothered Democrats who argue lawmakers should wait for recommendations from a task force studying how to resolve land-use disputes among homeowners, local governments, and energy companies. Regulations over fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, are expected to be one of ...

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