North Dakota's energy resources are important for us to be able to provide for our people, but right now because of outdated and ineffective guidelines too much of our natural gas is wasted. This waste means less tax revenue for tribes, affecting our bottom line.
When methane, the primary component of natural gas, is released so are toxics such as benzene threatening the health of those living closest to oil and gas well sites. And for people that are struggling to make ends meet, the last thing we should have to worry about is the air we breathe.
I was disheartened to hear that my elected representative, Rep. Kevin Cramer, is so determined to repeal the common-sense protections that will help North Dakotans and members of the Three Affiliated Tribes from natural gas waste.
The oil and gas industry is determined to override the will of the American people. A full 76 percent of North Dakotans support cutting natural gas waste on federal and tribal lands, including Republicans, Independents and Democrats.
We hope that Sens. Heidi Heitkamp and John Hoeven do not make the same mistake. We urge them to help the people of North Dakota get a fair share of their resources and not put the health of our state ahead of the oil and gas lobby.
The industry wants to be able to do whatever they want, whenever they want, even if it hurts us. We need oil and gas development to be done responsibly.
Our senators should stand up for North Dakotans to ensure that we see the return on our resources and improved quality of life.
Buffalo is a member of the Three Affiliated Tribes