The environmental activism aimed at impeding, and sometimes even blocking, the build-out of energy infrastructure such as pipelines and refineries/processing plants is bad for the environment. Don’t believe me? Witness the problems the oil and gas industry is having in addressing the flaring issue here in North Dakota. Back in 2014 our state developed, along side said industry, a plan for reducing the amount of gas flared in the state. It featured a cap on the amount of gas allowed to be flared that has reduced over time.
Yesterday Governor Doug Burgum gave a thorough, 90-minute “state of the state” address on the campus of Minot State University. In it he spoke of his administration’s efforts and accomplishments in 2017, the first year of Burgum’s term in office, as well as his vision going forward. Here’s the full video of the event if you missed it:
Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was one of the few Democrats who voted with Republicans to keep the federal government open. Good on her, though the vote looks more calculated than authentic when you consider which other Senate Democrats voted like Heitkamp did. The list, in addition to Heitkamp, includes Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Doug Jones of Alabama. The common denominator among these Democrats? Aside from Jones, the rest are up for re-election this year in states President Donald Trump won in 2016.
Governor Doug Burgum is set to deliver a State of the State address in Minot today (a livestream begins here at 10am if you’re interested). It’s not typical for North Dakota governors to deliver such addresses in between legislative sessions (former Governor Ed Schafer as the first and last to do it) or outside of Bismarck (that’s Burgum’s innovation).
In North Dakota we harbor a skepticism of government regulation that is almost cultural in its pervasiveness. Don't get me wrong, we support the rule of law. Anarchy is not the North Dakota way. But we are, as a state, deeply suspicious of regulatory overreach. Which is why Public Service Commissioner Julie Fedorchak needs to pump the brakes. Fedorchak is a fine public servant, with a bright future in Republican politics, but of late she's been overstepping the boundaries of her office.
Yesterday Governor Doug Burgum voiced unequivocal support for making North Dakota’s seat belt law a primary enforcement law. Currently the law is a secondary enforcement offense. Which means the cops can only ticket you for not wearing your seat belt if they’ve already pulled you over for something else.
Dear Julie, I think you’re a great public servant. I’m glad you’re on the Public Service Commission. It pleased me when it was reported that you might be interested in seeking a seat in Congress at some point, including possibly challenging Senator Heidi Heitkamp this cycle . But we need to talk.
Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem’s office is in the process of defending North Dakota’s voter ID laws from a legal challenge. Those laws were enjoined by a federal judge shortly before the 2016 election, and the judge required that the state go back to allowing people without ID’s as long as they sign affidavits saying they are, in fact, legal and eligible voters.
The decision made by the management of a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Fargo to eject a breastfeeding mother has caused some controversy in the region. That, in turn, has inspired some scrutiny of state law which gives mothres the right to breastfeed in public. The statute, enshrined in section 23-12-16 of the North Dakota Century Code, is pretty simple. "If the woman acts in a discreet and modest manner, a woman may breastfeed her child in any location, public or private, where the woman and child are otherwise authorized to be," it reads.
Last week we got news that Congressman Kevin Cramer would not be running for the U.S. Senate, leaving state Senator Tom Campbell as the only announced Republican against Democrat incumbent Heidi Heitkamp. But today I can report that Gary Emineth, a Bismarck-based businessman and former Chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party, is thinking about jumping into the race.