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CROSBY — Low oil prices forced Daisy Delaney to park her truck in January after she had been hauling water in the Bakken oilfields for about a year. But she wasn’t ready to say goodbye to North Dakota. She instead went to work hauling gravel for Divide County, where her husband, Erik, also works as a mechanic.
BISMARCK – Senators introduced a bipartisan compromise Wednesday in the ongoing oil tax debate, proposing to change the overall tax rate to 10 percent unless oil prices average above $90 a barrel. The amendments to House Bill 1476, introduced by Sens. Dwight Cook, R-Mandan, and Connie Triplett, D-Grand Forks, are expected to be up for a vote this afternoon in the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee.
Updated Monday, 8:40 p.m. BISMARCK – House lawmakers voted 57-32 Monday to eliminate price-based oil tax breaks and set a lower tax on oil extraction, sending the last-minute bill to the Senate today where contentious debate is expected to continue. House Bill 1476, introduced on Friday, would eliminate the so-called large trigger exemption on the oil extraction tax, which supporters say would add predictability to oil tax revenues and the industry’s tax structure.
BISMARCK – Gov. Jack Dalrymple signed legislation Monday that will strengthen the state’s regulatory oversight of gathering pipelines. House Bill 1358 provides $1.5 million for a study of pipeline technology and authorizes the North Dakota Industrial Commission to develop new rules regarding the construction and operation of gathering pipelines.
NEW TOWN -– A joint law enforcement operation to check on sex offenders on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation found nearly 20 percent of offenders may be in violation of registration laws, the U.S. Marshal Service said. Deputy U.S. Marshals teamed up with Three Affiliated Tribes police and the tribal sex offender registry officer on Thursday and Friday to conduct a first-ever sex offender compliance check at Fort Berthold.
KEENE, N.D. – Local officials point to a natural gas flare as the likely cause of a grass fire that scorched about 3,000 acres in McKenzie County this week. McKenzie County Emergency Manager Karolin Rockvoy and Keene Fire Chief John Rolfsrud both attribute the fire that started about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday to a nearby oil well that was flaring. “I couldn’t tell you for sure, but that’s my best-guess estimate,” Rolfsrud said Wednesday.
BISMARCK – House lawmakers voted 91-1 Tuesday to enhance the regulation of gathering pipelines, but language that would have required leak-detection technology was stripped from the bill. House Bill 1358 builds on what lawmakers approved two years ago when the state first decided to begin regulating more than 20,000 miles of gathering pipelines that transport oil, saltwater and other liquids.
WILLISTON, N.D. – North Dakota oil production fell 1.2 percent in February, the first time since 2011 that the state has seen back-to-back drops in monthly oil production. Low oil prices have prompted operators to postpone bringing new wells online, a trend that’s expected to continue until June, Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms said Tuesday.
FORTUNA — When an Arizona couple opened up a bar and dorm-style lodging for oilfield workers last year in far northwest North Dakota, the bar was packed and the rooms were booked solid. But as low oil prices prompted drilling to slow in the fringe areas of the Bakken like the Fortuna area in Divide County, many of their customers left the region. The number of rooms being rented in the renovated Fortuna school building they call the Old School Center is down by about half from before Christmas.
WILLISTON, N.D. – A new audit shows the U.S. Postal Service in North Dakota rarely met national service standards in recent years, and high employee turnover contributed to delayed mail delivery and excessive customer wait times.