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Plain Talk: Rep. Kelly Armstrong talks gun rights and gun control, and an update on a hydrogen project

On this episode of Plain Talk, North Dakota Congressman Kelly Armstrong answers questions about gun rights and gun control, and Bakken Energy CEO Mike Hopkins talks about his company's progress toward building a hydrogen hub that will use North Dakota natural gas.

Memorial for the victims of a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas
People leave flowers, toys, and other objects on Monday, May 30, 2022, remembering the victims of the deadliest U.S. school mass shooting in nearly a decade, resulting in the death of 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas.
Veronica G. Cardenas / Reuters
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MINOT, N.D. — "We can't get enough school counselors."

That's what Congressman Kelly Armstrong had to say on this episode of Plain Talk.

We've all been talking about how we can make our school after in the wake of another horrific tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, and much of that has been focused on proposals that would make our schools seem like prisons, with more law enforcement on campus and more restrictions on building access.

Armstrong mentioned that he recently had the opportunity to spend some time in Israel. "I don't want our children to have to go to school like they have to," he said.

While saying he wouldn't support any new restrictions on gun sales or ownership, he said there are things we can do to help. Like hiring more school counselors. Or making some reforms to the juvenile court system that continue to protect the privacy of juvenile criminal records but don't restrict their utility in background checks for gun transactions.

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Also on this episode, Mike Hopkins, the CEO of Bakken Energy, gives an update on his company's hydrogen hub project.

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They're in the process of obtaining asserts from the Dakota Synfuels Plant, which processed coal into fuel, and once they have possession they're going to get to work using North Dakota natural gas to make hydrogen while using the state's advantageous geology to store the carbon that process produces.

Bakken Energy has entered into an agreement with the tribal government of the MHA Nation to get gas from oil development on their lands, which would help mitigate North Dakota's lingering problems with flaring, an issue that's been particularly acute on tribal lands.

In addition to the supply side of his business, Hopkins also spoke about the emerging markets for hydrogen, and how his business will serve them.

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Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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