Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — Two bills introduced in the North Dakota Legislature would require law enforcement training and data collection related to missing and murdered indigenous people. The proposals, sponsored by Rep. Ruth Buffalo, D-Fargo, are mirrored after Savanna’s Act and prompted by discussions by a local task force following the 2017 death of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind in Fargo. “It’s unfortunate that it takes tragedy to sometimes bring people together to fix the gaps that exist,” Buffalo said Tuesday, Jan. 8. “Hopefully, moving forward, this can prevent further tragedies.”
FARGO — An attorney representing a group of North Dakota taxpayers argued Friday, Jan. 4, that a law approved by legislators two years ago “gives away” $2 billion in state oil and gas mineral assets and should be declared unconstitutional. Attorneys representing North Dakota said the legislation being challenged is not a giveaway, however, but a process to define the boundary and extent of the state’s mineral interests.
BISMARCK -- A legislator from the northeast North Dakota district, where an oil pipeline valve was tampered with in 2016, is pushing for a stronger deterrent for damaging critical infrastructure. Sen. Janne Myrdal, R-Edinburg, is sponsoring a bill that amends the language of state law to better define that it’s illegal to willfully tamper with or damage energy facilities and other infrastructure.
BISMARCK -- Royalty owners who supported legislation in 2017 related to oil and gas mineral ownership under Lake Sakakawea will likely have to make return trips to the state Capitol next year. The bill that legislators approved two years ago will be back for discussion in 2019, with a proposal to extend the time frame for royalty owners to be paid.
BISMARCK — Natural gas flaring reached record volumes in North Dakota in 2018, enough in October to heat 4.25 million average U.S. homes. The volume flared — 527 million cubic feet per day — could have met the natural gas needs for all of North Dakota and South Dakota, including industrial and commercial demand. Oil operators burned off the natural gas associated with oil production due to a lack of processing plant and pipeline capacity in the state.
BISMARCK — A 77-mile pipeline proposed for northwest North Dakota would transport natural gas liquids from a processing plant under construction in McKenzie County. Oneok is seeking a permit from the North Dakota Public Service Commission for the Demicks Lake Pipeline Project. The pipeline would transport 40,000 barrels of natural gas liquids per day from the Oneok Demicks Lake natural gas processing plant near Watford City to Richland County, Mont., where the larger Elk Creek Pipeline will be constructed.
BISMARCK — Members of the original committee that pushed for North Dakota’s Legacy Fund have reconvened and are cautioning against spending oil revenue before it’s in the bank. North Dakota Treasurer Kelly Schmidt is now a member of the committee that is working to educate the public and legislators as they consider proposals to tap into the earnings from the $5.6 billion fund. “We know there’s lots of ideas for spending Legacy Fund earnings,” said attorney Bob Harms, a member of
BISMARCK - The Drug Enforcement Administration saw a huge jump in methamphetamine seizures in North Dakota in 2018 as the drug becomes more accessible in the region. For fiscal year 2018, which ended on Sept. 30, the DEA seized 61.82 pounds of meth in North Dakota, up from 3.08 pounds that were seized in the state the year before. “Local and state law enforcement have probably seized an equal amount if not more,” said Ken Solek, assistant special agent in charge for the Minneapolis DEA Office.
BISMARCK — A recent study by the High Plains Fair Housing Council shows transgender people are experiencing high levels of discrimination when seeking housing in North Dakota. The nonprofit conducted 15 tests to determine if transgender testers received different treatment when looking for housing than people who are not transgender. “What happened most of the time is I would be treated way differently than the control tester,” said Rebel Marie, a transgender woman from Fargo who coordinated the testing.
BISMARCK — North Dakota oil production hit a record 1.39 million barrels per day in October, a 2.4 percent increase as operators accelerated production ahead of winter, the state’s top regulator said Friday, Dec. 14. Natural gas production also hit another record, but so did the volume of gas that was flared. The percentage of gas flared in October grew to 20 percent, the highest the state has seen since August 2015.