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Dalrymple brings campaign to Dickinson

Gov. Jack Dalrymple, center, joined by his wife, Betsy, right, and Sen. Rich Wardner, R.-Dickinson, left, announces his run for North Dakota governor Wednesday at Steffes Corp. in Dickinson.

Gov. Jack Dalrymple continued his statewide tour Wednesday to announce his bid for the 2012 gubernatorial race.

During a visit to Steffes Corp. in Dickinson, he made it clear he would make every effort to fight the Environmental Protection Agency for the state's right to regulate oil and gas production.

"Being governor means being a strong partner, but, at times, it also means being a defender," Dalrymple said. "I will not stand for senseless rulings from bureaucracies like the EPA."

North Dakota's Industrial Commission announced Tuesday it may ask the Legislature for $1 million during the special session Nov. 7 to fight the EPA over possible federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." Dalrymple said the EPA is overstepping its boundaries and it is up to the states to regulate policies on fracking.

Dalrymple added fracking takes place 2 miles below the surface and it is the safest form of drilling.

"Whatever fracking is doing down there 2 miles down, there is no way that can impact any water supplies that are 300-feet deep," Dalrymple said, adding that attempts to explain this to EPA officials have failed.

Officials not only fear that federal regulation could restrict oil production, but that it could stop it altogether.

"The EPA could stop everything if they want to," said Dickinson resident Frank Klein. "If they get on fracking, we're going to be at zero like the rest of the country. The people in the Bakken would be walking."

Brian Kalk, a Republican U.S. House of Representatives candidate, said the EPA's overregulation is one reason he is running for the House.

"It comes down to that these are states' rights," Kalk said. "Energy usage is going up. We are going to need to meet a growing demand. To say that we can't use these fossil fuels is not only irresponsible but foolish."

Dalrymple said if elected he would protect North Dakota's right to regulate fracking.