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Published April 22 2012

Forum editorial: Petroleum Council wins roses

Prairie roses: To the North Dakota Petroleum Council and others in the state’s Oil Patch for their stepped-up efforts to clean up litter and trash. The problem got major attention a couple of weeks ago when news outlets reported truckers associated with increased traffic in oil country were tossing urine-filled containers into road ditches rather than stopping and properly disposing of the waste. Subsequent reports from local organizations attempting to clean trash out of road ditches suggested the problem was even worse than initially reported. The council, which was aware of the situation and was moving to clean it up before the news broke, has launched its “Oil Can! Pick up the Patch!” program. The idea is to encourage the oil industry and communities to work together to create a no-litter culture. The council is encouraging oil country companies to get involved. Good idea. The headlines might have pushed the industry to get serious about the problem, but the important factors are industry recognition of the situation and industry involvement in fixing it.

Leafy spurge: To whomever in Clay County Child Protection Services was responsible for the shabby treatment of the family of Tommy Greuel of rural Hawley, Minn., the youngster who suffers from a rare condition in which his head has grown faster than body, resulting in several complications for his development. (See Forum stories, April 18, 19.) His parents were wrongly suspected of shaken baby. Despite all medical evidence showing that was not the case, protection services refused to budge, having removed Tommy and his sister from their home. In the end, a judge, after reviewing the medical records, essentially told protection services to back off. Even then, the agency continued to harass the family. Of course the agency’s charge is child protection, and generally it does a good job. But in this case, that mandate was perverted by apparent refusal to acknowledge there was no shaken baby situation, as proved by medical evidence. That’s just wrong.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.