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Goehring visits Dunn County

KILLDEER -- Dunn County officials sat down for dinner with Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring Wednesday evening to talk energy issues at the Buckskin Bar and Grill in Killdeer.

Goehring is running for reelection and was invited to the area by the Dunn County Energy Development Organization.

"What are you looking for in order to make this boom really successful and sustainable and responsible?" Ashley Lauth of the Dakota Resource Council asked Goehring.

It's most important to be sure regulations are followed, Goehring said.

"Do I have a vision for it? No," Goehring said. "I think anyone who comes in and says they do is foolish because they can't think about all the different situations that exist out here."

Lauth asked what Goehring's position on "fracking" fluid disclosure.

"We are on information overload in this society," Goehring said. "I'm not in favor of doing that because when that information's out, people just take it and run. And sometimes you have those that, maybe even through good intentions, end up taking something and doing a lot of damage."

Lauth asked if he was suggesting information should be withheld because citizens "can't handle it."

He said that wasn't what he meant.

"I think you have enough entities involved that are concerned about the situation that they're not going to let something just get away or not be monitored," Goehring said.

Daryl Dukart, Dunn County Commission candidate, is concerned about how natural gas plants may impact the area.

"I'd like to think that the extra amount of propane we're pulling up, for once, will be reflecting in local prices, unlike gasoline," Goehring said.

Dukart also wonders if the oil boom affected prospective wind energy development.

Goehring said it's possible.

"If you're going to put up wind towers, you're generally going to come in and you're going to do it in a very short period of time," Goehring said. "If you were to do that on a piece of land that all of a sudden has not been developed, the minerals haven't been developed, how many conflicts are you going to have in an area if they're trying to do excavating and dirt work and trying to build paths."

Casey Fredericks, Dunn County Commission candidate worries about potential water impact from oil activity.

Goehring said there are regulations in place to protect water.

Lauth is concerned over how officials will keep up with regulations and oversight of the oil industry.

"We've contracted out with some entities to help with getting permits filed and put up," Goehring said. "We've put on more temporary employees."

He added other inspectors have been put in the field as well, but more will be needed in the future.

"I think the toughest thing for this legislature has been we don't want to grow government, but in response to being responsible and providing service, I think the legislature now sees that we have to do that," Goehring said.