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 — A bill adding protections for confidential informants used by law enforcement received final approval in the North Dakota Legislature on Tuesday, April 18. The Senate voted 44-1 to approve House Bill 1221, known as "Andrew's Law," sending the proposed legislation to Gov. Doug Burgum for a signature.
WILLISTON, N.D. — North Dakota oil production exceeded expectations in February, jumping 5.4 percent to more than 1 million barrels a day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Thursday, April 13. Oil activity in the Bakken is projected to be “very aggressive” this summer, but companies are struggling to recruit enough workers for hydraulic fracturing crews and truck driving positions, said Director Lynn Helms.
BISMARCK — North Dakota House lawmakers rejected a bill Wednesday, April 12, to lift the state’s ban on parking meters, but the issue will still be debated in a separate bill. The House had previously approved a version of Senate Bill 2247 that opened the door for parking meters but required cities to put the issue to a vote of the people before installing meters.
BISMARCK — Representatives of seven oil companies that operate on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation support sending a greater share of oil tax revenue to the Three Affiliated Tribes, a move that would cost the state $145 million in 2017-19. In a letter to Gov. Doug Burgum and legislative leaders, the oil industry representatives said they support the tribe's position to receive 100 percent of tax revenue from oil produced on trust lands within the reservation. Currently the state and tribe split oil tax revenue from trust and fee lands equally.
BISMARCK — House lawmakers voted 79-11 Thursday, April 6, to approve a plan that will change how minerals under Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri River are leased, estimated to cost the state $187 million. Supporters of Senate Bill 2134 say the bill corrects what many see as a "land grab" by the state related to disputes over mineral ownership, returning royalty payments and other dollars to the rightful owners.
BISMARCK — North Dakota House members killed a study of the state's long-term energy plan on Monday, April 3, included in a bill that prompted debate over wind energy's impact on the state's coal industry. Meanwhile, state legislative leaders are calling on U.S. Sen. John Hoeven to repeal federal subsidies for wind energy they say are negatively affecting coal.
BISMARCK — House lawmakers voted to limit matching funds for senior citizen programs Thursday, March 30, a move supporters called "responsible government" while opponents said it could make it tougher for seniors to stay in their homes. House members voted 69-21 in favor of amendments to Senate Bill 2273, which caps funding for senior programs at $7 million for 2017-19, roughly the same funding level the programs received in 2015-17.
BELFIELD, N.D. — The Belle Fourche Pipeline system that contaminated a tributary of the Little Missouri River is in a landslide-prone area and vulnerable to future spills, federal pipeline regulators say. A document from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration shows that regulators believe the pipeline company may have experienced other spills in southwest North Dakota that went undetected due to inadequate leak detection monitoring and unstable terrain.
BISMARCK — The Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation is seeking a greater share of oil tax revenue to offset impacts of energy development on the reservation. Chairman Mark Fox said he continues to have concerns about changes North Dakota legislators made to the oil tax in 2015 and he's meeting with the governor and legislators to find a solution in the final weeks of the legislative session.
BISMARCK — The chairwoman of the state's anti-human trafficking task force says victim service programs could be in jeopardy under a funding cut recommended Tuesday, March 28, by a legislative committee. The House Appropriations Committee recommended reducing funding for human trafficking victim services to $250,000 for 2017-19, half of what the Senate approved and one-fourth the level requested by the Attorney General's Office. Committee members cited budget challenges as the need to cut general fund spending.