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Thomas Dolan, Fargo, Published March 24 2013

Letter: Shameless stunt by ND oil council

How shamelessly timely of the North Dakota Petro Council to release the latest study of how much the oil industry contributes to our “welfare,” with the Legislature in session and taxes on the table. This self-promoting propaganda piece was commissioned and paid for by none other than the council itself, and we are to believe that all will be well if we just leave the oil folks to continue to work their economic magic.

There is no denying the financial impact of the energy boom to the state, of course, and it is largely good. But not without cost, and I fear we are sacrificing too much of our precious history and culture, as well as basic landowner freedoms, at the expense of chasing transient energy dollars. Witness the current Killdeer Mountain drilling tragedy, in which our own state officials are complicit, the ongoing loss of the unique treasures of the Badlands, and the reluctance of the legislative majority to defend landowner interests on issues such as well siting.

When the wells have gone dry and the night sky is black again, will we remember that we could have been more protective of that which is truly irreplaceable – our quality of life?