Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at email@example.com or (701) 580-6890.
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BISMARCK — A bill that would put all of North Dakota on Central time and exempt the state from daylight savings time drew little testimony Thursday, Jan. 19, but lawmakers said it's a hot topic among their constituents. Sen. Dave Oehlke, R-Devils Lake, said he proposed Senate Bill 2167 after hearing from people in his district who complained about difficulties adjusting to daylight savings time. "I just think it's a good idea not to have to disrupt your life and change your clock every six months," Oehlke told members of the Senate Transportation Committee.
BISMARCK — North Dakota Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk has resigned from state office after accepting a job at the Energy and Environmental Research Center, he announced Thursday, Jan. 19. Kalk’s last day serving on the three-member commission is Jan. 31. Republican Gov. Doug Burgum will appoint a successor for Kalk, who has served two years of his second six-year term.
BISMARCK — The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe applauded the federal government Wednesday, Jan. 18, for beginning additional environmental review of the Dakota Access Pipeline, while some North Dakota leaders called the process a delay tactic that will likely be rescinded by the Trump administration. The Department of the Army published a notice Wednesday to begin gathering information to prepare an environmental impact statement for the pipeline crossing at Lake Oahe, the site of recent protests.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Senate voted 45-0 Tuesday, Jan. 17, to delay parts of the recently passed medical marijuana law. Senate Bill 2154 delays certain provisions of the Compassionate Care Act to give the North Dakota Department of Health more time to set up rules governing medical marijuana. Nearly 64 percent of North Dakota voters approved an initiated measure last November that legalizes the use of marijuana for defined medication conditions.
MINOT, N.D. — Bakken oilfield workers who are still owed wages after their employer abruptly went out of business in 2015 began receiving some compensation Monday, Jan. 16, thanks to an anonymous donor. More than 40 former employees of WCE Oil Field Services will receive checks for a portion of the wages they are owed through a donation secured by the Laborers District Council of Minnesota and North Dakota.
BISMARCK — Watford City attorney Dennis Johnson generally sues oil companies. But the attorney who represents private mineral owners stood up on the same side as the oil industry last week, advocating for the North Dakota Legislature to resolve uncertainty over Missouri River mineral ownership. The Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea are in the most prolific part of the Bakken oilfield, but disputes over riverbed mineral ownership have led to multiple lawsuits and disagreements between the state and federal government.
BISMARCK — North Dakota oil production dropped about 1 percent in November but stayed slightly above 1 million barrels per day, the Department of Mineral Resources said Friday, Jan. 13. Average oil production declined about 10,000 barrels per day in November to an average 1.03 million barrels a day, the preliminary figures show. Mild November weather contributed to an increase in well completions that month, said Director Lynn Helms.
BISMARCK — A bill that would raise the threshold for reporting oil spills got mixed reviews Thursday, Jan. 12, with proponents saying it would improve government efficiency while opponents advocated for more transparency. The House Energy and Natural Resources Committee heard about two hours of testimony on House Bill 1151, which would exempt companies from reporting spills that are contained on a production site that are less than 10 barrels, or 420 gallons.
BISMARCK — Morton County landowners who claim Dakota Access LLC deceived them into accepting an unfair price for pipeline easements are seeking more than $4 million in damages in a federal lawsuit. A group of landowners claims in a U.S. District Court case that Dakota Access agents harassed, threatened and intimidated them and used fraud and misleading statements to secure a lower price in exchange for allowing the pipeline to cross their land.
WASHINGTON - The online classified advertising site Backpage.com shut down its "adult" section this week hours after a Congressional report accused the website of knowingly facilitating sex trafficking. Many involved in the fight against human trafficking celebrated the removal of the adult ads Tuesday, Jan. 10, but acknowledged the sex-for-sale ads would migrate elsewhere.