What do Kelly Armstrong, golf and gumbo have in common? Dickinson API, that’s what.

On Tuesday March 23, U.S. Rep. and Dickinson native Kelly Armstrong spoke at Dickinson American Petroleum Institute’s monthly meeting at the Roosevelt Grand Dakota Hotel. Dickinson API Chair Mark Tangen said around 104 were in attendance.

Upon taking the podium, Armstrong talked about the latest oil- and gas-related news from Washington, D.C. Armstrong said he believes the environmental conversation should be different, beginning with the Dakota Access Pipeline or the Keystone Pipeline.

“(Keystone XL), it’s not dirtier oil. Tar sands sounds dirty... it’s not dirty oil, but the word ‘tar sands’ sounds dirty,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong said he believes various restrictions on fracking are due to an unfavorable public perception.

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“We have European countries banning fracked gas because the word ‘fracking’ is bad, so they’re going to get their dirty gas from a strategic adversary in Russia. It’s dumb but it’s the reality we live in,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong’s talk ended with a Q&A session during which an audience member asked ordinary people to navigate today’s political terrain and get involved.

Tangen said would like to help change the negative perception some people have of those who work in the oil and gas industry.

“I think the oil field workers have the biggest hearts," Tangen said.

Tangen said the motto of the local oil and gas industry could be summed up as: “Work hard, play hard, give back.”

Recently, Tangen said, API gave over $1,000 to help a local food pantry.

As mentioned in a previous article, API awards scholarships to local students every year, no matter where they choose to go or what they choose to study.

“Our main priority (is) the kids and the community,” Tangen said.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Sat. March 27, API will be hosting their 23rd annual gumbo cookoff at Dickinson’s West River Ice Center, kitty-corner to Fairway Street and State Avenue. As mentioned in a previous article, Tangen said children may attend prior to 6:30 p.m. After 6:30 p.m., no one under 21 years of age will be admitted. For $10 at the door, Tangen said, it will be all you-can-eat gumbo. Neighbors Bar will be hosting a cash bar alongside the festivities.

API will be hosting a variety of upcoming events, Tangen said. On April 26, API will be having another monthly meeting at the Roosevelt Grand Dakota, beginning with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by a meal at 7. The speaker for the meeting is unknown at this time. Tangen said the April 26 is open to members only. Those wanting to attend are invited to become members by registering and paying their dues online. The annual membership fee is $30; dinner is an additional $20 at each meeting.

Before going on a summer hiatus, Dickinson API will be hosting a golf tournament on May 25 in place of their monthly meeting. According to the Dickinson API website, registration will begin at 11 p.m., shotgun start will begin at 1 p.m. and barbeque at 5 p.m. The event will take place at Heart River Golf Course in Dickinson. As with API’s monthly meetings, the tournament will be limited to API members only. However, Tangen said non-members may come and watch. The roster for the tournament is almost full.

“I think people are just ready to get out. Obviously with the pandemic everyone has been cooped up and I think it is just something the community needs, something our members need. They just need to get out, breathe in some fresh air and take in some golf,” Tangen said.

More information about Dickinson API and their events can be found by going to their website