To the editor:
Once again, letters are being circulated critical of our task force studying the building of a refinery in the state of North Dakota.
Once again, the letter really points out the very need for the study and why we have chosen to implement the task force.
Mr. Chaffee raises the very questions we need answered. He talks of the environmental red tape. He talks of the “not in my backyard” opposition to such projects. He talks of the commitment of dollars.
All are very real concerns. All are concerns that really point toward a need for a comprehensive study.
We have no problem with the EmpowerND committee. We have the greatest respect for the individuals serving on the committee.
We would encourage the public to look at their goals and objectives. They include many worthy goals. Goals which we have always supported. Their goals include expansion of gasification facilities, more electricity from renewable sources and the commercialization of hydrogen power.
But they do not mention expanding the oil refining capacity in the state of North Dakota.
Each and every week, we read stories and see the explosion of oil discovery in the state. Our production continues to climb. We continually look for better ways to ship this oil out for processing.
Where will this growth end? Will we, in some future time, say to ourselves, “We should have looked at refining this tremendous resource here?”
Our task force will have the assistance, and criticism, of industry experts. We would expect no less.
We are politicians. But to us, we have an obligation to assist in developing policies we think are good for the future of North Dakota.
And we strongly feel a study of the future of refining in North Dakota should be part of that policy.
Rep. Kenton Onstad
Rep. Shirley Meyer