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Sen. Jessica Unruh, Beulah, N.D., Published June 15 2013

Letter: Proud to be part of ND leadership

As a new senator living in the heart of energy-producing territory, I’m proud of what our Republican-led Legislature has accomplished, especially in the area of energy development.

I firmly believe the role of government is to provide direction for the future, outline priorities and enact policies that promote responsible energy development in our state. Under GOP leadership, that’s exactly what happened.

The 63rd legislative assembly:

• Addressed growing pains with $2.5 billion in infrastructure funding for western North Dakota.

• Provided new incentives and policies designed to reduce flaring in the Bakken.

• Planned for future energy growth by funding new research and development.

• Invested in safer communities with increased law enforcement and emergency services funding.

• Encouraged expansion of our lignite energy industry using new and innovative technologies.

• Protected our state’s natural resources with the addition of staff in the Department of Mineral Resources and the Health Department

• Strengthened the rules for salt water use and disposal to protect our land and residents.

• Protected private land owner rights by providing mediation services to negotiate easements for pipeline locations.

• Created the North Dakota Outdoor Heritage Fund to substantially invest in soil health, water quality, and access to the great outdoors.

These long-term plans strike a balance between development and preservation and will positively shape our state’s future. Republican leadership helped make this possible, and I am proud to be a part of it.

Unruh, R-Beulah, represents District 33 in the North Dakota Senate.