As Chair of the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Governor Dalrymple has made 154 rulings in favor of Exxon Mobile’s subsidiary XTO. In light of the fact that Governor Dalrymple has officially admitted he owns stock in Exxon Mobile, this is not just a glaring conflict of interest, it is a racket. It is a systematic way of using his influence as governor to intimidate and control the oil industry to his benefit.
In a March 31, 2013 interview, Dalrymple stated, “I have never in my entire career in public service ever had a situation where I felt that I let any kind of personal interest or personal conflict enter into my decision-making whatsoever.”
This statement has a familiar ring to it. When interviewed by David Frost in 1977, Richard Nixon also let his true colors shine through by saying, “Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.”
The Oil and Gas Division of the three-member North Dakota Industrial Commission led by Dalrymple regulates the drilling and production of oil and gas in North Dakota. For Dalrymple, Exxon Mobil is just one of 16 energy-related stocks listed on his statement of interest on file with the secretary of state. This raises the question: How can anything be more unethical?
Yet, Jack Dalrymple is the trustee of the John S. Dalrymple Jr. Trust for which he refuses to disclose the stocks which comprise this trust. He and his wife are also the beneficiaries of the Mary K. Dalrymple Revocable Trust. Again, he refuses to disclose the contents of this trust in spite of North Dakota law which mandates he disclose the actual conflict of interests he may have.
How much money is Governor Dalrymple making at the expense of cheating tax payers, mineral rights owners, and competing businesses in North Dakota’s oil industry? $10 million a year? $100 million a year? More?
We may never know. But we should not allow this governor to continue his reign of deceit and corruption.