MINOT, N.D. — Recently an attorney with a long history of working for environmental activists has made some very serious allegations against the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources. That state agency, under the purview of the Industrial Commission, is responsible for regulating oil and gas development in our state. Bismarck attorney Derrick Braaten says the Department has been deleting records including data about oil spills. "It is illegal," he told a reporter.
Here at the dawn of what could be a very, very tough re-election campaign Senator Heidi Heitkamp has been cozying up to the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce. The impetus for said coziness is her support (seemingly at odds with her recent voting record) for regulatory reforms the business community wants. Because to win in November of next year Senator Heitkamp needs to be perceived not so much as a Democrat but as a moderate Republican who just happens to caucus with the other party.
I think it’s safe to say that the City of Bismarck’s handling of a recall petition aimed at Mayor Mike Seminary has been something less than ideal.
A group of Minot High School students are facing criminal charges for an end-of-the-school-year prank. Three boys have been charged with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, after throwing about four water balloons. From the Minot Daily News : Assistant superintendent Kim Slotsve refused on Friday afternoon, May 19, to comment on the specifics of the water balloon incident, but she said the school district has had students charged in the past with disorderly conduct if the circumstances warranted it.
According to an official notice (see below) Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault will be one of ten candidates running to be chairman of the tribe. Archambault led his tribe during the often violent, often unlawful #NoDAPL protests. He partnered the tribe with some far-left environmental groups, and put out a call nationally for activists to come to south central North Dakota, near the Standing Rock reservation, to protest.
Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s ability to keep her seat in the U.S. Senate this election cycle rest squarely on her ability to convince North Dakotans that she’s not like other Democrats in key policy areas. Case in point, government regulation. That’s why Heitkamp has been busy patting herself on the back for an initiative she’s started (along with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio) to reform the federal rule making process.
OPEC, the global oil cartel which worked to fix prices for the benefit of its members, is dead. So writes Pascal-Emanuel Gobry in The Week . The group isn’t officially dead, but they’ve lost their ability to dominate the global oil markets. The reason? Shale oil, particularly here in the United States. Fracking has “massively expanded oil supplies,” Gobry writes. America now produces as much oil as Saudi Arabia, and America is not nor will it ever be a member of OPEC.
With Trump-related controversies dominating the headlines it seems Republicans are opting to two specific defenses. First, that a press corps that is biased toward Republicans, generally, and detests Trump, specifically, is misleading the public and overreacting to explainable events. Second, that there is a political conspiracy in the federal government which has, as its agenda, undermining President Donald Trump.
Democrats really, really want “Republicans cut taxes for big oil” to be a viable part of their political platform heading into the 2018 election cycle. The big obstacle they face is that it isn’t a true statement. What they’re hoping is that if they just keep repeating the claim, over and over again, the public will perceive it as true. Which is why it needs to be shot down every time it’s brought up. Which is why, in turn, I keep writing about it. Because that’s my job. To point out when politicians say untruthful things.
I’ve always thought that, when a politician casts a controversial vote, an explanation before that vote is cast is worth a lot more than a justification after the fact.