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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.

Environmental group has an authenticity problem

When it comes to stories about environmental issues in North Dakota, specifically the impacts of fossil fuel energy development, the state media routinely calls the activists at the Dakota Resource Council for comment. The group is typically described as a “landowner group” or a “conservation group.” They have full-time staff, and by all outward appearances are a competent proponent of ...

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Time for oil boom critics to give some credit on flaring


To hear some environmental activists and political partisans tell it North Dakota’s oil boom is an ecological disaster. “We’re destroying western North Dakota,” they chorus. Most recently they’ve been pointing to a (deeply flawed) series of stories by the New York Times which suggest a cozy relationship between the oil industry and state regulators has resulted in spiking oil spills ...

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East vs west battle looming over oil tax revenues

north dakota

Lawmakers were in Bismarck recently for their organizational session, and a part of their organizing is finalizing bill drafts for consideration in the regular session next year. One area that’s sure to create some heat is funding for western North Dakota. A “surge” funding bill proposed by western lawmakers, which aims to appropriate some $800 million to oil patch communities ...

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Time to help America’s oil industry compete with OPEC

oil derrick

Over the Thanksgiving holiday some news broke that no doubt has many North Dakotans – private citizens and policymakers alike – feeling a bit nervous. OPEC, the international oil cartel, has announced that they won’t be cutting oil production in the face of dropping prices. That means oil prices are going to remain low for the foreseeable future, and places ...

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The dark side of the boom– isn’t so dark


The New York Times has a very, very ugly profile of the North Dakota government’s handling of the state’s Bakken oil boom up this weekend. The paper is also promising a second article which they pitch as “An examination of an unusual land deal and questions about the North Dakota government’s relationship with the booming oil industry.” Not disclosed in ...

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Goal in oil conditioning regs should be outcome not method


The debate over oil stabilization can be a confusing one. It’s important to a lot of people because we’ve all read the headlines about, and seen the pictures of, explosive train derailments. But the information we get about the issue is often conflicting (and very often driven by politics, I’m afraid). Currently the North Dakota Industrial Commission is considering a ...

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Partnership shouldn’t trump honest debate about oil tax

oil barrel

Democrat Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider isn’t on the ballot this year because he represents an even-numbered district. Thus, he’s free to play bomb-thrower for his party this cycle, and the bombs he’s been throwing have to do with efforts to reform the state’s taxes on oil production last session. To hear Schneider tell it, you’d think that even discussing ...

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Democrats Seem To Have Nearly $100,000 In Campaign Finance Errors In Reports

North Dakota Democrats have almost completely outsourced their campaign donation mechanism to a left-wing, Massachussets-based organization called ActBlue. In fact, when you donate to one of the Democrat candidates for office here in North Dakota you really aren’t making a direct contribution to that campaign. You’re actually making a contribution to the Act Blue committee which then supposedly makes the ...

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Does ND have too much wind power?


In the headlines right now the State of North Dakota (along with a few others) has become synonymous with lower energy prices. Thanks to skyrocketing domestic oil production, oil and gasoline prices are falling. Perhaps too much, as while lower energy prices are good for the rest of the country, oil prices could fall too low to make drilling in ...

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