Jan Swenson, Bismarck
Good King Solomon divided the child in two and declared, "We have given each half. Such is our wisdom." So sayeth the N.D. Industrial Commission on North Dakota's extraordinary places.
"Go now, ye who love the child, and if you find fault, talk to your legislators come January." So sayeth the NDIC.
Can't we save a little? I guess not.
The Bakken will transform 15,000 square miles of western North Dakota. We are completing the so-called homesteading stage. The increased density harvest stage now commencing will include up to 18 wells on every two square miles across that 15,000. This is what is called "balance."
Then there are the Three Forks benches, the Tyler to the south, the Spearfish to the northeast and the revitalization occurring in the Red River formation not to mention the shallow gas play being permitted for discovery east across the Big Missouri.
If injection of carbon dioxide for enhanced recovery goes as anticipated, Lynn Helms says we could be looking at reclamation work five generations from now. Five generations! Will there be any trace, any template of our once proud North Dakota remaining?
The NDIC policy as passed has no teeth, no regulatory insistences. It is not even a glimmer of the effort introduced by Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem.
We will cut half the players out of this policy and pretend it is about private property rights. We will dismiss the potential of looking at the whole in order to procure thoughtful development in favor of ducking the responsibility of statesmanship.
Industry has all the big shooters in their corner and they want to keep them. With its recent decision, the NDIC has said, "Fine. OK with us."