A Short Message About Our National Park

This might be the shortest blog post I’ve ever written. Or will ever write. But it’s an important one, so if you are concerned about the possibility of an oil refinery being built next to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, as I am, please take just one minute to read it.

I had a chance encounter with Governor Doug Burgum this weekend. We had a lengthy, frank, and off-the-record discussion about the Davis Refinery.

Off-the-record, but I think I can share a few things with you after the conversation without him objecting.

First, I don’t think the Governor wants an oil refinery next to our National Park any more than you and I do, but I believe he is committed to letting the regulatory process play out, without interfering with his agencies.

Second, pretty much everybody believes that there will be a legal challenge to the refinery’s site before construction begins, and I’d guess that the Governor would be committed to letting that legal process play out as well.

And third, if the refinery gets its permits and survives a legal challenge, I am starting to get the feeling that we might be able to convince the Governor to intervene personally with the company, and try to get them to move it away from the Park.

To convince him, we need to let the Governor know that we will support any efforts he undertakes to get the company to move the refinery away from the National Park, by sending him an e-mail at governor@nd.gov. We can do that now, or we can do that after the legal process is over. But now might be better.

To quote my new online friend and fellow blogger, Judge Tom Davies: Amen.

7 thoughts on “A Short Message About Our National Park

  1. Thank you for your efforts. They are very important.

    First, our National Parks and other resources can never have a monetary value. The value transcend any monetary value that we could claim.

    I am not anti-oil or development. But the utilization of this valuable natural resource must be done with discretion and a deep concern for our society which includes our environment.

    I can see no circumstance whatsoever to even consider a refinery in this general area. Why? We have endless space that can be utilized. And if the company is being honest, this proposed refinery will utilize the best new technology to do the least harm to the world we all live in.

    I hope that the Governor is not swayed by the same oil interests that have dominated our State for many years. And a reminder that it is his party that have given nearly carte-blance to them.

    The Governor should be able to see that to move this refinery is essential to our State and that we can have sound development and fulfill our obligations to care for the land that we live on.


  2. Jim,
    A few comments/ideas.
    First, do you believe there should be a law establishing a perimeter around federal (and/or state) parks in which you cannot build an industrial plant? Or do you think it should be a case-by-case determination?
    If that former, what is the correct perimeter? And why not start an initiated measure to make it state law?
    If the latter, who gets to make the decision? The PSC? And how can we avoid making it arbitrary?


  3. Has Meridian ever provided the rationale for this site ?? I’ve looked at all the previous news articles on the proposed location and can’t find anything. Why is this a desired location? Does it have something to do with the local pipeline or the adjacent rail facility ?


    1. Yes, Jay, they have mentioned good roads, access to rail and to gathering pipelines. And then said it is in the”Heart of the Bakken” which is B.S. because it’s way out on the edge of the Bakken, even out of the Bakken, by most geologists’ estimates. And Tesoro has bought all the pipelines, and they own the refinery in Dickinson, so it’s doubtful whether Meridian could use them.


  4. Jim, Thanks for the “heads up” on this. I have set a message to Gov. Burgum.
    Your blogs have been ending up in my Spam folder. Is there any way to remedy this?


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