Today during an energy and transmission committee meeting at the capitol, the states four oil and gas producing counties stepped up to the podium to talk money.
Our Malique Rankin was at the committee, and tells us just how much our oil producing counties have grown in the past few years.
North Dakota’s oil producing counties get a little more wear and tear than the rest of the state.
Linda Svihovec; City County Services Coordinator: “I don’t know if what we do with roads out there is different than what other counties do, it’s just so much more substantial.”
Dunn, McKenzie, Mountrail and Williams county have all seen pretty impressive growth from 2010 to 2016. McKenzie’s population nearly doubled, and Williams county got over 10 thousand new residents.
Reinhard Hauck; Dunn County Commissioner: “I think we need to understand that we have to have a pretty good infrastructure in order for the oil industry to survive.”
And to do that — oil producing counties have been using county dollars to make up for what the state isn’t providing.
Reinhard Hauck; Dunn County Commissioner: “The change we’re looking for is the gross production of tax will still come into the state. But maybe a larger share of that could be put back in to the impacted areas through various ways.”
Until these counties can receive financial relief, they’ll continue to let lawmakers know what’s needed.
Linda Svihovec; City County Services Coordinator: “The investment in dust control, I’d be very surprised if that compares to any investment anywhere in the state. It’s absolutely necessary for safety reasons and quality of life reasons.”
Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner said this meeting was not to give oil producing counties more money, but to understand their financial needs.