BISMARCK, N.D. KXNET) — On Tuesday, November 2, reporter Josh Meny interviewed Fintan Dooley — a DemNPL candidate for the role of State Ag Commissioner — regarding his beliefs on the current state of North Dakota’s agricultural industry. The following is a full transcription of their conversation.

Josh’s questions and statements are labeled in italics.


Joining us now is Bismarck environmental lawyer and democratic NPL candidate for North Dakota Ag Commissioner Fitton, Dooley Fitton, thank you for being here.

“Well, it’s a delight. I’m a happy North Dakota and I grew up here. I understand farming, understand ranching, coal mining, and the oil industry. And we have an opportunity and an obligation to be admitting what has come upon us. The truth is, we are obligated $4 billion, and the oil industry only has 1% of that in assurance bonding. $4 billion needs to be spent right now to take care of the problems that have accumulated in seventy years.”

Yeah, let me stop here for a second, you say Ag Commissioner Goehring is good on the Ag side. But you say nobody knows how bad it is on the industry side.”

“The oil industry side. There’s been a huge collision, a huge collision between the interests of preserving the productivity of the surface of the earth.”

*Mr. Dooley gestures to the image of the North Dakota State Seal he is holding.*

“There’s our state seal.”

“And what does that say?”

“It says strength from the soil. We have destroyed the strength in the soil. We have taken private property and made it the unpermitted solid waste dump site for the worst of the oil industry. And we’ve got to stop. So what do we need to do about it? Well, the first thing we need to do is find them we have a team. We have a Chinese guy named Fuji Wang and a Jewish genius named Steve Applebaum. We’ve mapped we can map the whole state, we can find these sites and we can be honest. The first thing to know is how bad it is. We met to make lateral and vertical maps. And then we do the cost of restoration. North Dakota, right now, is doing a quickie…. a digging haul. The leaching process wastes the expenditure. We are not honest. And it’s time for Mr. (Ag Commissioner Doug) Goehring to hit the restart button. He’s a very capable guy. If I can’t beat him, nobody can.”

“But you’re saying we need to do a lot more.”

“We have just begun. Thank God for President Trump. He’s the one that prompted us to get 66 million. And Lynn Helms wisely saved many, many jobs. But that 66 plus the more recent 25 million is less than 1% of what you need to get started on what is overdue for restoration right now.”

“And you also mentioned that it can be tackled better on the county level.”

“Yes. County commissioners, township board members, and farmers know where their stuff is. We got to enable them. They have the tools, they have the brain. We have the best and brightest farmers in the whole world here, given the money, given the tools, and given the time. So what would handling it on the county level do for local communities in the soil in North Dakota. All of us have a sense of stewardship. And we know our own turf. We know our own end of life. We know these wells need to be put to death. It’s the right way to restore the productivity of the soil. In every little small town, we’ll have contractors. Every farmer who is willing to listen and be coached about soil science and big data can be employed. And each of these small towns could be like an emergency room for wounded tracts of land.”

“Dem-NPL candidate for Ag Commissioner Fintan Dooley, thank you for being here.”

“Thank you very much. Good to be here, sir.”