On Television: Talking Propane Shortage, And Defending Lynn Helms


Valley News Live – KVLY/KXJB – Fargo/Grand Forks

I was on Valley News Live last night with Chris Berg, and we definitely did not discuss Mellaney Moore and her school security story lest someone get prosecuted.

We did discuss the propane shortage that’s been afflicting the region, and the controversy surrounding North Dakota’s top oil regulator Lynn Helms. I’ve made my case for each here and here on the blog, respectively.

On the propane issue, to put it simply what we have isn’t a supply problem. There is plenty of gas being produced in the United States. Rather, it’s a transport problem. Energy infrastructure is overrun by booming oil production, and the buildout of additional infrastructure (pipelines, etc.) is fraught with political peril. The question we need to be asking is, how do we make it easier to build out energy infrastructure?

As for Lynn Helms, I thought Berg was being pretty unfair. It’s an election year, and North Dakota Democrats are pretty desperate for any issue than might let them claw their way back into relevance in the state, so they’ve chosen to put their crosshairs on a non-politician who holds a non-political office. Helms is a regulator. He speaks bluntly, and puts his foot in his mouth, but any objective review of his job performance shows that he’s served the state well.