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Neal Stein, Fargo, Published November 04 2013

Letter: In North Dakota, large corporations set agenda

Al Sapa’s letter, published Oct. 21, regarding North Dakota’s bleak outdoor future is on point, but unfortunately just touches the proverbial tip of the iceberg and ties in to so many related issues.

Too many people in this region are content to not let their worldview extend much past the ends of their noses. Oil spills, gas leaks and salt water are ruining farmland in western North Dakota. Farther west, slurry ash pits and coal mining are negatively affecting ranchers in Montana and Wyoming. Monsanto has farmers in its grip.

Governors, representatives, senators and inspectors are all beholden to corporate interests of Halliburton, Tesoro, Westmoreland, Monsanto, Cargill, etc. more than to the public they supposedly serve. The working class is supposed to be content and placated with the promise of jobs and a strong economy.

We’re convinced that everything is good because we can afford to buy trucks and guns and 60-inch LCD televisions, We’re not feeling the economic crunch like most of the country, but what are we supposed to tell our kids and grandchildren when they can’t grow anything on the land, drink the water, or eat the fish, cattle and game?

The effects of the oil boom will far outlast the oil boom itself and those jobs won’t last forever. You don’t have to be a radical environmentalist to realize that. How many spills and other incidences have happened that are not reported or publicized?

It’s sad to think our future generations will miss out on the great outdoors we have been able to enjoy for so long – whether it’s hunting, fishing, hiking or camping.