Court: Permit for oil refinery planned near national park OK

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FILE – This June 18, 2017, file photo shows the scenic landscape near the Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota. Roosevelt hunted and ranched in the area in the 1880s. Theodore Roosevelt credited his time hunting and ranching in North Dakota with shaping him into the man who would become the nation’s 26th president. Now, enthusiasts are working to establish a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in the North Dakota Badlands where he spent nearly four years in the late 1800s. (AP Photo/Carey J. Williams, File)

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The North Dakota Supreme Court has sided with state regulators in a challenge to a proposed oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the western part of the state.

In a unanimous opinion, the state’s high court upheld a lower court ruling that affirmed permitting decisions by the Department of Environmental Quality.

The Bismarck Tribune reported Tuesday that the state Supreme Court ruled that the department “did not act arbitrarily, capriciously, or unreasonably in issuing the permit.”

William Prentice, the CEO of Meridian Energy Group, called the ruling “very welcome.”

Opponents called it “a major setback for the preservation of Theodore Roosevelt National Park and all it protects.”

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