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North Dakota global credit rating upgraded to AAA

Money

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – Oil-rich North Dakota has received the highest credit rating available from a worldwide financial services company. Gov. Jack Dalrymple says Standard & Poor’s decision to upgrade the state’s credit outlook to AAA shows a commitment by government leaders to manage the budget and keep money in the bank. North Dakota is now one of only 15 ...

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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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Regulator: North Dakota oil rail shipments expected to spike

oil pipeline

JAMES MacPHERSON, Associated Press BISMARCK, N.D. — The percentage of North Dakota oil shipped by rail will likely jump significantly in the next year as producers increasingly turn to trains to reach U.S. refineries where premium prices are fetched, the state’s top oil regulator told lawmakers Thursday. Lynn Helms, director of the Department of Mineral Resources, told the Legislature’s Government ...

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Company targets southern ND for drilling

emmons

By: Amy Dalrymple, InForum BISMARCK – An oil and gas company is working to wake what it calls a sleeping giant in an area of southern North Dakota far outside of the state’s traditional drilling region. Strata-X Energy has received permits to drill four wells in Emmons and McIntosh counties as part of an exploratory program known as wildcatting, the ...

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Sanford announces partnership to build facilities, expand health care in Watford City

sanford

WATFORD CITY, N.D. – Sanford Health announced Wednesday it will partner with McKenzie County Healthcare Systems to construct a new hospital and clinic in Watford City and bring specialty physicians to the heart of the Oil Patch. The new collaboration also will expand air ambulance services in McKenzie County, which accounts for a third of the state’s oil drilling activity. ...

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Oil spill reaches Little Missouri River tributary

little missouri trail

By: JAMES MacPHERSON BISMARCK, N.D. — More than 28,000 gallons of an oily brine that’s a byproduct of oil production leaked from a tank in western North Dakota’s Billings County and reached a tributary of the Little Missouri River before freezing, the North Dakota Health Department said. Kris Roberts, an environmental geologist with the North Dakota Health Department, said Midland, ...

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