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Published April 13 2013

Forum editorial: Listen to voices from West

News out of North Dakota’s Oil Patch last week confirmed the industrial boom is chugging along at a brisk pace. Also confirmed: Problems generated by oil and gas development are chugging along, too. Legislators, regulators and slick feel-good TV ads can paint lipstick on the pig, but it’s still a pig.


That’s how desperate the situation is getting for local officials – that they would threaten the industry that generates tens of millions of new dollars for their counties, their residents and the state.

The concerns are not coming from consultants or from observers in the distant Red River Valley. They are the voices of people in oil communities. They are speaking out because they believe the state, that is, the Legislature – awash in oil and gas revenue – is not doing enough to improve roads, fund day care and schools, support health and social services and expand law enforcement.

News from oil country is news about the people who live there. The rest of the state should pay attention.

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