Oil and gas industry leaders, as well as lawmakers, gathered this in Watford City.
Speakers at this year’s North Dakota Petroleum Council’s 40th meeting included: MHA Nation Chairman Mark Fox, Governor Burgum, and Former U-S Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke.
Former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s served as a Congressman for Montana, but Zinke’s family is originally from McClusky and Lincoln, ND. He says Montanans and North Dakotans share the same culture as well as challenges, and so they are aligned in what they face, particularly oil and gas regulations.
Zinke said during his speech that the biggest threat facing the country is the division in this country, and he says a lot of that division translates into federal overreach in North Dakota and Montana. Zinke says when it comes to wildlife or energy development or land policy, is the federal government quote “concocting something” that runs against the grain of Montana or North Dakota.
He says western states should be the stewards of their own land rather than having regulations directed from Washington D.C.
“The reason why I rode a horse in on the first day of work as Interior Secretary was to make a point that our western values make a difference. And, a lot of times there’s tension between what’s concocted in the beltway of Washington D.C. and what is necessary and what the real circumstance is on the ground in Montana and North Dakota,” explained Zinke
Montana’s census population has grown so much that our neighbor to the west has reinstated a second U.S. congress seat. Former Secretary Zinke is running for the open seat.