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Legislators get up-close look at oil boom

BISMARCK -- A dozen North Dakota Republican lawmakers spent the past two days touring cities in the Oil Patch to learn more about the oil industry and to hear about the challenges of growth from local officials.

Legislators made stops in Stanley, Tioga, Williston, Alexander, Watford City and Killdeer during their bus tour, which included touring a rig, staying overnight in a crew camp and visiting with area residents.

House Republican Caucus Leader Mike Nathe of Bismarck said the trip was unique because it brought together House leadership and chairmen and vice chairmen of committees that can help the region.

Individual legislators paid for the trip, not the state or the oil industry, Nathe said.