- By JAMES MacPHERSON Associated Press
Lawsuits from environmentalists and landowners have made investors skittish and delayed progress another year on the proposed $800 million oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota, the developer’s top executive said.
Meridian wants to build the refinery just 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the park that’s the state’s top tourist attraction, drawing more than 700,000 visitors annually. Environmental groups argue pollution from the factory will spoil scenery and air quality at the 30,000-acre (12,000-hectare) park.
“Absolutely lawsuits have cost us time, and fear over the lawsuits have cost us a lot of money,” Meridian Energy Group CEO William Prentice told The Associated Press. “That is a true and undeniable fact.”