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Commentary: Environmentalists move the goal posts on North Dakota refinery

Buck Hill is the highest observation point in Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Consultants for Meridian Energy Group estimate that a water vapor plume from the Davis Refinery may be visible from this point for about 15 daylight hours per year. Jack Dura / Bismarck Tribune

I think most of us are environmentalists. Which is to say that most of us want society, including business and industry, to be responsible stewards of the land and air.

But to many, including this humble observer, the term “environmentalist” seems pejorative. We don’t want to be associated with the term, because it in turn means being associated with political extremists who aren’t really out to protect the environment.

Such as stopping the development of resources like oil and natural gas and coal.

Case in point, the fight over the Davis Refinery which is in the process of being built by the Meridian Energy Group.

The proximity of the project to Theodore Roosevelt National Park has caused concern to some, and rightfully so. The park is a marvelous resource here in North Dakota and it should be protected. Indeed, it seems as though the folks at Meridian are very interested in protecting the park. When some expressed concerns that the refinery, which is miles away from the borders of the park, could spoil views from within the park the Meridian project managers did an experiment.

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