Energy continues to be valuable conversation

Energy, whether oil and gas, or more new energy sources such as hydroelectric and wind, continue to be a source of discussion in the community. Sadly, some continue to believe the petroleum revolution will resume again, bringing with it thousands of new residents and associated economic development.

It won’t. The oil and gas industries have moved on to high tech solutions to replace the massive manpower needed in the industry beforehand. Additionally other communities more in the vicinity of the Bakken have done a much better investment in oil and gas investment and we will perpetually be behind – for good or ill.

But the energy discussion needs to continue and it appears it will.

Mark Fox, chairman of the Three Affiliated Tribes, will give the welcoming address, kicking off the Energy ND Day at the Capitol speaking program on Tuesday.

On Thursday, Gov. Doug Burgum and Fox signed a compact for sharing oil tax revenue. The compact maintains the current tax rate on oil and gas production and extraction within the Fort Berthold Reservation, while changing how the state and tribe share tax revenue from new oil and gas activity on trust and fee lands, according to a news release from the Governor’s Office.

A number of energy experts from western North Dakota and others will speak during Energy ND Day at the Capitol, with activities beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The day brings together supporters of North Dakota’s energy industry for a public education session and the opportunity to witness the legislative process and engage with lawmakers, according North Dakota Petroleum Council information.

Others speaking during Energy ND Day will include Jason Baker, co-founder of Baker Consulting at Mandaree, who will talk about building a Native-owned energy services business; Shawn Wenko, executive director of Williston Economic Development, who will discuss growing into communities; and Joel Brown, co-founder of Mineral Tracker at Watford City, who will tell about how the Bakken is revolutionizing mineral management. Ron Ness, president of the N.D. Petroleum Council, Bismarck; Kathy Neset of Neset Consulting, Tioga; Josh Demorrett of ConocoPhillips, Dickinson; and Rob Lindberg of Bakken Backers, Bismarck, will also take part in the program. Kevin Black, co-founder and president of Creedence Energy, Minot, will be host and emcee.

There may be dissenting positions on the role of energy in the state economy but there is little denying its importance to this point.

Adult decisions, free of dogma, must continue. Some would see us end our fossil fuel industry while under the fantasy that solar and wind power can provide for the nation’s energy needs. That’s utter nonsense. We aren’t there yet. Nor are we near the strange fantasy world where an undefined “alternative” energy can meet our needs. Good goal. Ignorant policy.

In the meantime, we are best at listening to real energy solution and seeking to minimize the ecological impact. That’s perfectly reasonable.

Let’s stick to the rational.

Those planning to attend should register at, then click on “2019EnergyNDDay.” The full schedule for the day can be viewed at the website.