Plain Talk: Meridian Energy CEO Says Davis Refinery Will Produce Less Pollution Than Theodore Roosevelt National Park


With two different legal battles going before the North Dakota Supreme Court, the fight over building the Davis Refinery in western North Dakota drags on.

“I look back now and realize just how naive I was,” Bill Prentice, CEO of Meridian Energy, said of the process.

Meridian is the company trying to build the refinery. Prentice says that while his company has won every legal challenge to the project so far, all the litigation has “cost us well over a year so far.”

That frustrates him. He says his company set out to build a refinery “clean enough to be sited anywhere,” including somewhat near a beautiful and protected area like the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. “The park generates more pollution than Davis Refinery will,” Prentice said, adding that the facility will produce “less pollution than the cars visiting the park.”

He called the political and legal opposition to the project, organized by left-wing environmental groups, the “death of reason” since it’s obstructing the ability of the oil and gas industry to build newer, better, and cleaner facilities.

There is “a tremendous amount of science and technology that has not been brought to bear in the refining industry,” Prentice said, referring to the fact that a new refinery hasn’t been built in the United States since the 1970’s.

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