There’s a good idea out there with a chance at becoming law: Saving 5% of oil revenue for environmental cleanup, and maintaining the great outdoors in North Dakota. The petitions are circulating right now! Of course, it’s also being opposed by the usual suspects.
While certain oilmen are out there being responsible, there’s a large enough number doing illegal dumping, registering shell companies, and most of those are going to ruin fields, rivers, and lakes and get away with it. If neither the industry nor the legislature of North Dakota is setting aside money to bear the costs of cleanup and environmental protection, then the craters left in western North Dakota are likely to be permanent scars.
The great and lasting triumph of the William Guy administration was prevent the coal industry from turning North Dakota into a moonscape. Today, there are precious few in Bismarck that have such moral stature, but through the initiative process, North Dakotans can at least get to vote on a measure of needed insurance against the growing damage of the energy industry.