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Shelly Ventsch, New Town, N.D., Published October 11 2012

Letter: Dalrymple is not a ‘good leader’

I do not understand how people tout Gov. Jack Dalrymple as a “good leader,” unless they are completely unaware of the conditions in the oil-producing counties. He is one-third of the Industrial Commission. It has the power to control how things develop here.

The line that they can’t stand between mineral owners and their rights is purely bogus. No lease ever promises any activity will occur or states a specific time frame for drilling. A lease is only giving the mineral owners’ permission to a company to explore/drill. Mineral owners sign leases all the time, knowing this. People have leased for years and only received the so-much-per-acre lease payment.

Another problem is mineral owners have just two options – lease or become part owner of the well. My family didn’t want to lease any acres, but that wasn’t an option. In a nutshell, the mineral owner is forced to lease. Where is the mineral owner’s right to not lease?

A good leader should look further ahead than the quick dollar, consider the consequences of actions before acting, make sure the actions do not cause innumerable problems money can’t fix, and not put one group of individuals’ rights ahead of the safety of the general population, which also has rights.

Sen. Ryan Taylor, D-Towner, knows and understands western North Dakota. Does his ranch look anything like the chaotic mess that the oil counties have become? Probably not because being successful in a responsible way takes planning, thought, work, foresight, caution and, mostly, common sense.

Many of us here in western North Dakota would appreciate statewide residents’ support to give us a chance to survive the oil development onslaught and to preserve some of the area.

Please give Ryan Taylor (and the oil counties) a chance. Our gratitude could be bigger than the boom.