We'll have a blizzard white Christmas
We could have a traditional weather Christmas, this weekend with the predicted winter storm.  So, here's wishing you have a warm, safe holiday.  
Merry Christmas from the entire staff of the Western Dakota Energy Association!

No newsletter next week, so the next time you'll hear from us, the 2017 Legislature will be in session.  Watch for new and vibrant communications from us during the session.


What are your thoughts about the newsletter format?  The goal is to make it a quicker read for you.  If you see a story you want to read, click on it and the full story opens.

WDEA Creates Advisory Board for Uniform Truck Permit System

The Executive Committee of the Western Dakota Energy Association approved changes to the permit system bylaws at its December 19 meeting in Dickinson.

The major change is an additional level of governance. A five-person advisory board will be formed to provide continuity between the permit system committee and WDEA’s Executive Committee.

WDEA’s revision to the truck permit system bylaws responds to the concerns of industry and government officials, and sets the stage for inviting other units of government in North Dakota to join the truck permit system.

Member's Voice -- Williston (still open for business -- and it's happening.)

Williston has several reasons to celebrate this winter, and it's making the most of it with Christmas lights and decorations.  Williston State Senator Brad Bekkedahl said the confidence the community has maintained is paying off. 

ND Petroleum Council Logo

Science, law should prevail in DAPL approval

North Dakota Petroleum Council Executive Director Ron Ness has published a fact sheet to help promote the completion of the Dakota Access Pipeline.  He wrote that the facts have gone largely ignored, and there are many, many people who simply want straight-to-the-matter answers to questions such as these: 

  • "Why not make the pipeline extra thick?"
  • "Could the company monitor the pipeline regularly?"
  • "Maybe it should follow in the path of existing infrastructure off the reservation?"

Corrective Action ordered on pipeline spill

The US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a corrective action order to Belle Fourche Pipeline Co. following the  Dec. 5 crude oil leak near Belfield. 4,200 bbl of crude was released into Ash Coulee Creek in Billings County.

ND Department of Health's Carl Rockeman said as of December 23, 2,285 barrels had been recovered and or burned.

The pipeline failure’s cause has not been determined but the ND Industrial Commission continues its investigation. The line  was laid in 2013 about 45 ft below the ground’s surface. in 2013. The accident did not cause any known human injuries, but may have poisoned some cattle.

Prairie Business news story is here

The Corrective Action Order is here

State mounts opposition to Obama last hour limit on coal

“Today’s release of the stream buffer rule, with one month left in the administration, epitomizes midnight regulation and irresponsible rule-making. This rule was written to address impacts of mining in Appalachia, yet seeks to impose the same conditions on surface mining in North Dakota.

"The LEC and its members estimate that the rule could prevent mining of more than 600 million tons of coal within the borders of North Dakota, denying counties and schools critical tax revenues, and cost electric customers approximately $50 million annually."

Click here for L.E.C. Bohrer's statement on the stream rule

Click here for Washington Times story on stream rule

North Dakota AG Challenges Stream Buffer Rule 
“This is the epitome of a midnight regulation,” North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said. “This case involves a last-ditch effort by the outgoing Administration to encroach on the clear authority granted to the State of North Dakota and the Public Service Commission.” 

Interior Department and Army Corps Announce Restoration of Tribal Lands for
Three Affiliated Tribes

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will transfer 24,959 acres previously acquired by the Corps for the construction of the Garrison Dam project to the Department of the Interior. The Department will hold the land in trust for the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota.

The land, now excess to the project, consists mostly of undeveloped grasslands situated above the maximum flood control pool for Lake Sakakawea

Fracking crews in demand in Williston

Are fracking jobs returning to the Bakken?  The Williston office of North Dakota Job Service is getting more calls for fracking crews.

The office is also planning its 2017 Job Fair and it looks like more companies are planning on attending -- another indication of more activity in the Bakken.
Coyote Station: Evolving to serve customers today and tomorrow
The 450-megawatt Coyote Station south of Beulah looks nearly the same as it did in 1981. Take a look inside and you will see several changes to reduce emissions and make the plant more efficient.

Coyote Station is unique among the state’s lignite-based plants for several reasons. First, it is jointly owned by four utilities. Second, it recently changed fuel suppliers.

Upcoming Events
January 3, 2017
ND Legislature convenes

January 4, 2017
Gov. Doug Burgum Inaugural Celebration

January 23, 2017
 Southwest Night at the Legislature
Ramkota, Bismarck

May 2-4, 2017
Basin Petroleum Conference Regina, SK, Canada

Oil prices and rig count
December 23, 2015

WTI Crude: $52.99
                                             Brent Crude: $55.18
                                                     Natural Gas: $3.69

              North Dakota  Active Drills: 41 (Up 1)        12/23/15 -- 65 rigs

Vicky Steiner/Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Editor
Mike Kopp, Mykuhls Photography, Photographs
Western Dakota Energy Association