Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 580-6890.
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BISMARCK — Gov. Jack Dalrymple outlined a budget proposal Wednesday, Dec. 7, that includes cuts such as reducing the number of state employees to balance a budget affected by a collapse in commodity prices but invests in key priorities and builds reserves. The proposal recommends a $13.48 billion total budget for 2017-19, similar to the state's budget four years ago. It includes $4.78 billion in general fund spending, a 21 percent reduction from the current biennium.
BELFIELD, N.D. — A pipeline leak caused a significant oil spill in a tributary of the Little Missouri River this week, but the volume of oil released was still unknown Tuesday, Dec. 6, as a winter storm affected response efforts. The incident was discovered by a landowner, raising questions about whether the oil pipeline in western North Dakota had a monitoring system to detect leaks.
DALLAS — The companies building the Dakota Access Pipeline said they remain committed to completing the project and expect to do so without rerouting the pipeline despite a decision from the federal government that denies the Lake Oahe easement.
WASHINGTON — Congressman Kevin Cramer said Sunday, Dec. 4, that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will deny the Lake Oahe easement needed to complete construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline south of Mandan, N.D. In response, Cramer criticized the Obama administration, calling Barack Obama "lawless."
NEW TOWN, N.D. — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a $2.1 million fine for air pollution at oil and gas wells primarily on North Dakota's Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. But the settlement against Slawson Exploration Co. announced Thursday, Dec. 1, stems from just one of many enforcement actions underway against North Dakota operators for air quality violations.
A Dakota Access spokeswoman said Thursday, Dec. 1, that audio released by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe of a September 2014 meeting shows the pipeline company wanted to work with the tribe. "I think the recording demonstrates our willingness to work with them," said Vicki Anderson Granado, spokeswoman for Dakota Access parent company Energy Transfer Partners, said in a statement. "Our doors were open and it is unfortunate that they did not choose to work with us. We hope that changes as we continue to move forward with this project."
BISMARCK — Dakota Access LLC is fighting a $15,000 proposed fine from the North Dakota Public Service Commission, arguing the company's delay in notifying regulators about artifacts found in the pipeline route was not a "willful violation." Attorneys for the pipeline company have filed a motion to dismiss a complaint by the Public Service Commission that alleges Dakota Access violated conditions of its permit.
STANDING ROCK SIOUX RESERVATION — Audio released by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe from a September 2014 meeting with Dakota Access Pipeline representatives contradicts recent claims made by a pipeline company executive. Kelcy Warren, CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, the parent company of Dakota Access LLC, told the Wall Street Journal the pipeline route that crosses just north of the Standing Rock Reservation could have been changed if the tribe had engaged in discussions sooner.
BISMARCK — Gov. Jack Dalrymple wants to meet with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council in the coming days to discuss the Dakota Access Pipeline protest and begin rebuilding state and tribal relations. "In my opinion, we need to begin now to talk about how we are going to eventually arrive at a peaceful resolution of the situation and restore the relationship between North Dakota and the Standing Rock people," Dalrymple said during a news conference Wednesday, Nov. 30.
BISMARCK — Vehicles delivering supplies to the Dakota Access Protest camp could be subject to a $1,000 fine per the governor's emergency evacuation order, a state official said Tuesday. Cecily Fong, spokeswoman for the Department of Emergency Services, said law enforcement can stop vehicles in the area of the protest camp in southern Morton County and issue a $1,000 fine if the motorists are delivering supplies to the area under the evacuation order.