Republicans pitch $800M plan for oil-boom impacts – EnergyWire

Republicans pitch $800M plan for oil-boom impacts

A proposal by North Dakota Republicans would pump $800 million into strained oil-patch communities and infrastructure as soon as next summer.

Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner said the Legislature will prioritize the “surge funding” in January.

“This will help us win the war against the impacts,” he said at the Capitol in Bismarck on Wednesday.

Oil-producing counties and cities would receive $475 million; hub cities Williston, Dickinson and Minot would get $140 million; affected schools would pocket $35 million; and $150 million would be spent on nearby roads projects.

Wardner said affordable housing tops the long list of spending needs and overtaxed local agencies.

“We want these skilled people to stay and invest in North Dakota,” he said.

The state’s Strategic Investment and Improvements Fund — partially supported by oil and gas taxes — would fund the plan. The fund’s balance tops $1 billion.

Democrats asked Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple in April to dedicate a special session to oil-boom funding issues; Dalrymple turned them down.

Wardner said a Republican plan for oil and gas production tax revenue will be unveiled this week. Democrats are pushing for more of the proceeds to go to local governments (AP/Fuel Fix, Sept. 18). — AI

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