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Published July 22 2012

Forum editorial: Roses for going after oil violator

Prairie roses: To North Dakota state and Stark County officials for taking what appears to be tough action against an oil and gas operator for wastewater violations at a disposal well near Dickinson, N.D. The company, Halak Operating ND LLC, faces stiff civil fines and possible criminal penalties for disposing of fracking salt water in a disposal site that was not up to state standards. It’s a serious violation that has prompted the largest civil case and first criminal case against an oil and gas operator. Going after the company sends the right message to other potentially bad actors in the Oil Patch. Successful prosecution would send even a stronger message. Good work by the state Industrial Commission and Stark County authorities.

Prairie roses: Well, a very small bouquet, to North Dakota’s U.S. Senate candidates Rick Berg, R, and Heidi Heitkamp, D, for agreeing to two face-to-face debates. Only two, but it’s a start. Debates are among the best venues for voters to see candidates up close and unrehearsed. If the debate formats are real debates, all the better for voters. Berg in particular has been reluctant to sign on for more than two debates with his opponent, while Heitkamp has urged the two get onto the debate stage more often. All candidates should take a lesson from North Dakota Republican U.S. House candidate Kevin Cramer, who last week said he accepts every debate invitation he receives because, he said, debates get more voters involved in the campaigns. He’s got it right.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum

management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.