LTE – The Times told it like it is in ND

The Times told it like it is in ND

In the past couple of weeks, an op-ed by the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s Ron Ness popped up statewide, telling “the real North Dakota oil story” in response to New York Times articles on the boom’s downside. Living in/witnessing happenings in the boom area, I find the Times’ publications to be true, and Ness’ version? Not so much.

To address all the untruths, inane comparisons, twisted logic and back-patting commentary coming from the pen of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, I would far exceed the 300 or so word limit allotted untitled residents.

If Ness believes even half of what he writes, he is completely out of touch with reality. He believes since North Dakota is a rural state, we should be naive and trusting in the work of companies, and fining them for polluting our environment is just plain silly because “companies are not punished for circumstances beyond their control, such as inclement weather or unforeseen mechanical failures.”

Into which category do dumped filter socks fall? And who knew record snowfall would actually melt and flood pits! But since the oil companies were warned, does that make them a little untrustworthy, maybe?

Ness boasts of the 70-plus new laws implemented (all of which, no doubt, have an “out” for the industry). Why were they needed, when the oil companies are so trustworthy? But can we expect companies to follow laws when North Dakota Industrial Commission member/Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem won’t even enforce NDCC 38-03-06 (commission shall limit production to what can be produced without waste)?

Ness can attempt to gloss over inadequacies, but the investigative reporting of the Times told it like it is – corruption and all.

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