Tag Archives: Oil Patch

Plain Talk: Students Going to Class in a Closet?

Plain Talk: Students Going to Class in a Closet?

Williston Herald editor Jamie Kelly said he didn’t believe the stories about students in his local school district attending class in what were once closets. But then he saw it with is own eyes. The problem? The state’s funding mechanism for local school districts, combined with western North Dakota’s low population density, has created some

If It’s Ok to Be Concerned About Oil Workers, It’s Ok to Be Concerned About Refugees

“It is remarkable how often those who preach tolerance and patience with ‘new Americans’ will turn around and rail against the oil industry for increasing crime in our state.” I wrote those words back in 2015, noting the left’s propensity to malign energy industry workers with pejoratives like “oilfield trash.” I thought about that post

Funny How Nobody Wants Rent Control When Rents Are Falling

Two years ago, in the throes of a housing shortage driven by the Bakken oil boom, the Williston Herald called for rent control in an editorial. “It has been well-established that rent control is illegal in the state of North Dakota, but it is also gaining momentum from residents and activists seeking change,” the paper wrote.

Not Prostitutes: Energy Industry Provides Jobs And Opportunity For Women

“Fracking as an industry serves men; 95 percent of the people employed in the gas fields are men,” ecologist and anti-fracking activist Sandra Steingraber said during a lecture at the University of Pittsburgh on April 6. “When we talk about jobs, we’re talking about jobs for men, and we need to say that. And the jobs

Democrat Superminority Makes Political Hay Over Surge Funding

If there is one silver lining for North Dakota’s superminority Democrats, it’s that they don’t really have to take responsibility for anything that happens in state government. They’re free to play whatever political games they please, knowing full well that whatever the outcome they can point their fingers at the Republican majority. Case in point,

On Television: Oil Tax Revenues Belong To All Of North Dakota

We discussed oil tax revenues and funding for oil patch needs on Chris Berg’s show on Valley News Live last night (video above). During the discussion Berg asked me about an oft-made argument about oil tax revenues, which is the idea that because they’re produced in western counties they belong in western counties. This is

North Dakota Oil Counties Pay Property Tax Rate 30% Lower Than Non-Oil Counties

Earlier today I vented a bit about local leaders in western North Dakota who, even after legislators announced some $800 million in “surge” funding to meet needs, seem to think that no amount of money will ever be enough to address oil impacts. What frustrates me about this debate is that we spend a lot

Legislative Republicans Announce $800 Million In "Surge" Funding For Oil Patch

Earlier this year Democrats were making a stink about needing a special legislative session to address needs in western North Dakota. That part of the state is dealing with explosive growth in industry, commerce and population. Democrats argued that a special session was needed to appropriate funds to those needs. Ultimately that idea was rejected

Local Officials Deserve Some Blame For High Rents In Oil Patch

Since it’s an election year, it’s time for an endless flood of negative stories about North Dakota’s oil patch. One of the most high-profile stories of late is this one from the Associated Press about rents in Williston rivaling those in urban places like Manhattan and Los Angeles: A 700-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Williston costs