Please check out the newest addition to our website (the above link) and please do so before I start MY 'March'.
The MARCH IS ON and it isn't even Bison Football season yet!
Greetings from the 'Rocky Bakken' (notice: NOT the Rockin' Bakken today folks)... If you have been on Facebook this AM, you get what I'm talking about. From radioactivity being 'loosely' handled to lavish CEO's of fortune 500s doing business from afar in a selfish, inconsiderate way to good companies cutting corners because nobody is verifying otherwise, I have been a bit ranting-ish. The media is starting to bring light to issues out here that could have long lasting impacts on our ability to produce renewable food and live on this land and quite honestly, that has me fairly worked up.
CLICK HERE - This is a good company, but without regulatory oversight, they too are taking high risks. Cherry Creek runs into the Little Missouri less than 15 miles from this location. We were VERY lucky. Hopefully it is a wake up call to the NDIC as with the correct equipment on this well, this would NOT have happened.
CLICK HERE - The North Dakota Industrial Commission apparently doesn't regulate 'drilling socks'? I would LOVE to know WHY? I fear Homer Simpson would do a better job of protecting McKenzie County...
CLICK HERE - Exxon Mobile's production division is XTO. XTO has minerals leased under us and all around us. This CEO has completely failed to put himself in anyone else's shoes who own property in their 'asset' locations. Maybe we should all sign on to a class action law suit regarding our devalued property and see if that sits well with him.
I have been trying to wrap my head around how to best start conversations that move solutions forward. 'Bismarck' with its three branches of state government (the legislature (Senate and House of Representatives), the Governors office, and the North Dakota judicial system) housed there is the key. How 'Bismarck' approaches the North Dakota business environment specifically is key. I am certainly not a fan of the 'California' approach to energy needs (make it happen someplace else so we can have our cake and eat it too), but I am becoming less and less a fan of the current Bismarck, North Dakota approach in the same breath (which I am starting to coin as a 'free for all'). The discussion about separating the position that oversees North Dakota oil and gas regulation from promotion is a great place to start. That alone isn't the silver bullet but again, a very good place to start.
So getting back to conversations about solutions, the conversations have to come from a grass roots place. These conversations can not be quieted or be asked to go away because there is not 'politics' in them (I should add that I have a letter of insubordination in a past work file that I am very proud of - just so you know). These conversations aren't 'owned' because the people having them aren't 'owned'.
East. West. Rural. Urban. We are ALL North Dakotans. When I provided written testimony last session to the combined Appropriations Committee on the 'Energy Impact' bill, I talked about being in Fargo at NDSU during the 1997 Red River flood. I was a western North Dakota kid that was 'just there for four years to get an education', right? NO! Those were my people facing the lose of their homes to the mighty Red. I sand bagged. I didn't make excuses. I pitched in. My time at NDSU was part of me and Fargo was a place that helped shape my future. It's people were my people. I knew my people needed help so I helped. What is my point? WE ARE ALL NORTH DAKOTANS. We are all in 'it' together and I believe that a large majority of us feel that way. That really should be an opinion poll question when the North Dakota Petrolium Council conducts their annual polling of North Dakotans.
Our current North Dakota legislature is being held by a SUPER majority right now. I should be thrilled by this because although I find myself a very independent voter, at my core I am an elephant... a Lutheran Elephant. That is as funny as it gets today folks. Picture it - a Lutheran Elephant.
Unfortunately, I believe this is creating an environment in Bismarck where the 'people's conversation' is not welcomed and the people's vision for their state is not being reflected in the bills that are and are not voted into law by our legislature and the riders they contain. I am asking you to consider taking on a task. I am asking you to do so because I believe the future of our state needs the people's voices to be heard. Please, voice your thoughts and do so in a way that conversation will bring solutions. PLEASE, PARTICIPATE in the future of NORTH DAKOTA.
Also, if this blog post has offended you or any one you know in any way, I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU! I am serious about starting conversation... GOOD OLD, UNEDITED, CONSTRUCTIVE CONVERSATION!
The MARCH is on KNOWING that North Dakota political parties are holding their district nominating conventions and state conventions ahead of the April 7th deadline for Affidavit of Candidacy to the Secretary of State (districts over the last week of February and the first two weeks of March, state in early April). If we are going to change the legislative conversation in Bismarck, this is where it starts! Wow! Maybe March Madness should have been the title of this blog? Anyway, I hope you catch it.
Until next time, make a difference. Change the conversation to the people's conversation.