October 27, 2017
Dickinson City Leaders Ready
for Legislative Study Committee
City leaders in Dickinson plan to give legislators studying Hub City funding a tour of the public facilities they’ve built to address oil industry impacts in the city.
The interim Energy Development and Transmission Committee will meet in Dickinson next Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 30-31. City administrator Shawn Kessel said they have three goals in mind for the meeting, the first of which is to thank legislators for the funds they’ve already received.
Click here to listen to Kessel’s comments.
The committee agenda includes stops at Dickinson’s Public Works building, its Water Reclamation Facility, the Public Safety Center, a new Middle School and the Dickinson Airport.
The Dickinson City Commission recently voted to participate in an oil impact study being developed for the Western Dakota Energy Association by AE2S Nexus. Kessel said one important element of the study will compare the needs of oil-impacted communities with other cities.
Click here to listen to Kessel’s comments.

Kessel made his comments in an interview on the radio program, Energy Matters, which airs every Tuesday from 3:00–5:00 PM on KFYR and KLTC Radio. It is rebroadcast Saturday on WZFG and KTGO Radio.  
All in Readiness for WDEA Annual Meeting
Guests attending this year’s annual meeting of the Western Dakota Energy Association will be treated to a series of informative presentations, and will have an opportunity to visit with businesses and organizations that are helping sponsor the event.
Registration opens at 4:00 p.m. MDT on Wednesday, November 1, at the Ramada Grand Dakota Lodge in Dickinson. The meeting begins with a social at 5:30, featuring remarks from Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford and a presentation from Cal Klewin representing the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Association. The social also features entertainment by the Jazz Ensemble from Dickinson State University.

The general session begins Thursday morning at 8:30, and includes several presentations about the latest developments in energy technology. The meeting also features co-keynote addresses by MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox and DSU President Thomas Mitzel.
It's not too late to make plans to attend. Click here to see the agenda or register for the meeting.
Record Enrollment Again in Watford City
The number of students enrolled in K-12 schools in Watford City has officially tripled since the energy boom began 10 years ago.

McKenzie County Superintendent of Schools Steve Holen said the school system has more than 1,540 students this fall, up about 10 percent from a year ago.

Click here to listen to Holen’s comments.
Watford City moved into a new high school building in February 2016. Holen said there is room to grow in the new high school, but already it’s starting to feel crowded.
Click here to listen to Holen’s comments.
Watford City’s elementary school now houses grades K-3, while grades 4-6 occupy the old high school. Holen said more space will likely be need in the near future. A consulting firm estimates enrollment will top 2,000 students by the 2020-21 school year, and could climb as high as 2,800 within 10 years. 

Holen made his comments during an interview this week on the radio program, Energy Matters. 
Lands Board to Consider Airport Grants
The state Board of University and School Lands plans to award grants totaling $1.3 million to airports in oil-impacted communities in North Dakota.
At its meeting this week, the board directed the ND Aeronautics Commission to review pending applications and return a recommendation to the Lands Board for action at its next meeting. Seven communities have submitted funding requests for airport projects. They include Bowman, Killdeer, Mohall, New Town, Stanley, Tioga and Watford City. The funding comes from HB 1176 enacted by the 2015 ND Legislature.
The Lands Board also authorized the initial outlay of funds for the Dickinson and Williston airports provided in SB 2013, approved by the 2017 Legislature. Williston will receive $18.5 million for its new airport, and Dickinson was allocated $1.4 million for a runway rehabilitation project.
Are Protestor Actions Domestic Terrorism?

Members of Congress want to know if crimes against energy infrastructure qualify as domestic terrorism under existing law.

In a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions this week, 84 members of Congress said that "maintaining safe and reliable energy infrastructure is a matter of national security." Specifically, they are asking Sessions to consider domestic terrorism charges for protesters who obstruct pipeline projects, like those who interfered with construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

ND Congressman Kevin Cramer is among those who signed the letter asking questions of the attorney general such as whether the Patriot Act and Pipeline Safety Act give the Department of Justice grounds to prosecute on the federal level.

Read the letter here

I ron Eyes Claims Necessity Defense in DAPL Protest

Former Democrat Congressional Candidate Chase Iron Eyes has been accused of inciting a riot during the DAPL protests. He is claiming his actions were necessary to defend his people. It is known as the "necessity defense" and justifies a crime by saying it prevented a greater evil.

Iron Eyes could face more than five years in prison if convicted at trial in February.

Read more about the "necessity defense" here
Report Outlines Burdens on Energy Development

The U.S. Interior Department released a report this week identifying burdens on energy development imposed by the federal government, and outlined plans to remove them.

The report focuses on conventional energy sources, namely oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear resources. The document described burdens that impede the production and transportation of energy resources, including the Obama administration’s five-year energy plan, BLM's fracking rule on federal and tribal land, and delays in the leasing and permitting process.

The DOI report outlines actions that are being taken to advance the Trump administration’s goal of American energy dominance.

Click here to download the report.

Click here to read more from North American Shale Magazine.
Group Unites Transportation Interests
to Improve Regional Economy

Individuals representing energy, transportation, and government interests met in Bismarck this week to learn more about the Great Northern Corridor Coalition, a group formed to address transportation obstacles across the northern tier of the United States.

The newly-formed group is based in Williston, but covers eight states along the historic Great Northern Railroad line. The group's goal is to unite transportation concerns along the corridor to improve the region’s commerce. 

Executive Director Curtis Shuck said the coalition will focus on a dozen projects in the corridor from the West Coast to Chicago to improve transportation of goods. Two of the priorities are in North Dakota -- the Highway 1804 expansion from New Town to Williston, and the Theodore Roosevelt Expressway Highway 85 project in western North Dakota

Click here to view the slide presentation given this week in Bismarck

Click here for the Great Northern Corridor Coalition website.
Drought and Oil Price Slump
Impact ND Tax Collections

Local businesses in western North Dakota expect to feel the impact of the drought, and low oil and commodity prices awhile longer.

Reported gross income by North Dakotans dropped 7.6 percent in 2016, while the number of filers dropped by more than 27,000 from the year before.

Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger said the decrease in income is generally due to low agriculture and energy prices. The drop in tax filers is the result of oilfield workers leaving the state, he said.

Click here to read more from the Associated Press.
Quick Connect

  • Russian trolls pushed anti-DAPL propaganda -- Daily Caller

  • Feds warn about cyber-attacks on energy, industrial firms -- Reuters

  • Minot flood protection bids millions under estimate -- KXMC News

  • $38 Million Ward County Jail Expansion Finishing Up -- U.S. News
Factoid of the Week

North Dakota is the fourth highest state for energy consumption per capita. Only Louisiana, Wyoming and Alaska residents use more energy per capita than North Dakota.

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Watford City
Oil prices and rig count

October 27, 2017

WTI Crude: $53.90
Brent Crude: $60.39
Natural Gas: $2.75

       North Dakota Active Rigs: 53 (dn 1)      10/27/16 -- 35 rigs
Geoff Simon
Editor/Executive Director

Mike Kopp, Editor
Mike Kopp, Mykuhls Photography, Photographs