Helms Responds to Letter from Democrats on Job Duties - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Helms Responds to Letter from Democrats on Job Duties

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As oil production closes in on a million barrels per day in North Dakota--another issue is grabbing headlines.

A pair of North Dakota democrats sent a letter to the state Industrial Commission.

They're asking the commission to take action to separate the role of North Dakota's top oil regulator.

Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider says Lynn Helms serves as both promoter and regulator.

Schneider says that is a conflict of interest.

Helms believes his record speaks for itself.

"If you want to talk about roles my primary job is a regulator. I think that is demonstrated by the fact that were in the process of implementing forty new role changes in our administrative code. Every one of them toughens or strengthens rule that the oil and gas division has in regulating the oil industry," says Director of Mineral Resources Lynn Helms.

North Dakota Century Code defines Helms' job as "to promote the development, production and utilization of natural resources of oil and gas.

Schneider and House Minority Leader Kenton Onstad tell the industrial commission they plan to introduce legislation next session to change the law.

They propose creating a new division with a director in the Department of Commerce to promote oil and gas.

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