Amy Dalrymple / Bismarck Tribune
BISMARCK — North Dakota is preparing to file a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers seeking $38 million in costs associated with the Dakota Access Pipeline protests, said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. The federal government did not respond within six months to a claim North Dakota filed in July seeking compensation for law enforcement and other costs to respond to several months of protests.
BISMARCK — North Dakota lawmakers are considering changing state oil tax policy to remove a requirement that oil companies pay higher taxes when crude prices rise, but at least one lawmaker questions the process being used. The proposal was introduced Monday, Feb. 11, as an amendment to a tribal oil tax bill, but the change would affect oil production statewide.
BISMARCK -- A citizen group urged legislators on Friday, Feb. 8, to let counties retain zoning authority over high-level radioactive waste facilities. The suggestion was one of several amendments promoted by the North Dakota Community Alliance for a bill that relates to regulations of nuclear waste storage and disposal.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota House defeated a bill on Friday, Feb. 8, to increase the oil extraction tax, the second such proposal that has failed during this legislative session. House members voted 76-12 against a bill that would have raised the oil extraction tax from 5 percent to 6.5 percent. Rep. Pamela Anderson, D-Fargo, said she introduced House Bill 1449 to restore the tax to the level it was before legislators reduced it in 2015. The bill was estimated to provide about $600 million in additional revenue for 2019-21.
BISMARCK -- State and tribal leaders moved closer Wednesday, Feb. 6, to reaching a compromise for sharing tax revenue from oil produced at Fort Berthold, while also establishing a framework for future tribal tax agreements. The Senate Finance and Taxation Committee heard testimony in support of Senate Bill 2312, which is projected to send an additional $33 million in oil tax revenue to the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation for 2019-21.
BISMARCK — The North Dakota Public Service Commission issued a siting permit on Wednesday, Feb. 6, for the Emmons-Logan Wind Energy Center, granting approval for as many as 123 wind turbines northeast of Linton. The project by NextEra Energy Resources will have a capacity of about 298 megawatts and will include a 6.85-mile transmission line in Emmons County. Commissioner Julie Fedorchak said the project has strong support from community members and landowners in the area.
BISMARCK -- North Dakota legislators are considering putting money back into the Housing Incentive Fund, a state program that seeks to make housing affordable. The program that was first funded in 2011 has been used to help finance 2,500 rental housing units statewide, but the state didn't have dollars available in 2017. This year, legislators are evaluating three proposals that would provide $10 million to $40 million for the Housing Incentive Fund.
BISMARCK -- As a bill dealing with high-level radioactive waste works its way through the North Dakota Legislature this session, a group of concerned citizens is urging the public to pay attention. Senate Bill 2037 sets up a framework for permitting and regulating the storage and disposal of spent nuclear fuel and other high-level radioactive waste.
BISMARCK -- A bill in the North Dakota Senate would require oil companies to pay taxes and royalties on a portion of natural gas that is flared, a move supporters say would stop them from wasting a natural resource. Sen. Tim Mathern, D-Fargo, proposes to charge taxes and royalties on flared natural gas on wells that have been flaring for more than one year. Mathern, who has introduced similar legislation in previous sessions, said Friday his plan is a “pragmatic” approach to increase gas capture rates.
BISMARCK -- The North Dakota Senate overwhelmingly rejected a proposal on Wednesday, Jan 30, to increase the oil extraction tax, with opponents saying they want to keep the Bakken competitive. Senate Bill 2336, which would have increased the oil extraction tax from 5 percent to 6.5 percent, failed in a 10-36 vote, with Democrats supporting it and Republicans in opposition.