Burgum hosts annual meeting of Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission
Gov. Doug Burgum welcomed members of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) to their annual meeting this week, which was held in Medora.
In his keynote address, Burgum provided IOGCC members with an update on North Dakota's oil and gas industry and how U.S. energy production is being transformed by innovation and investment. In particular, he highlighted how iPIPE, the Intelligent Pipeline Integrity Program, has built a unique collaboration between the North Dakota Industrial Commission, technology providers and pipeline operators to pioneer new pipeline safety technology. Burgum presented an award to iPIPE's partners on behalf of the IOGCC.
Burgum also gave attendees an overview of how record production levels are driving infrastructure investments. In addition to adding takeaway capacity, producers are seeking to invest in value-added projects such as petrochemical plants.
State and federal leaders were in attendance at the conference, including Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford; Shawn Bennett, deputy assistant secretary for oil and natural gas at the U.S. Department of Energy; and Doug Benevento, senior counselor for regional management and state affairs at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Established in 1935, the IOGCC is headquartered in Oklahoma City and has 31 member states and seven associate states. North Dakota has been a member since 1954. The commission promotes the conservation and efficient recovery of domestic oil and natural gas resources while protecting health, safety and the environment. The conference was hosted in partnership with the IOGCC and the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources.
Tribal Taxation Issues Committee holds first meeting of 2019-20 interim
The Tribal Taxation Issues Committee convened Tuesday for its first meeting of the interim following the 2019 legislative session, receiving updates from North Dakota's tribal leaders and discussing shared priorities.
Burgum thanked legislative leaders for creating the unique interim committee, which is made up of the majority and minority leaders and tax committee chairs from both houses, Tax Commissioner Ryan Rauschenberger, Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director Scott Davis, the lieutenant governor and the governor. Burgum serves as chair of the committee.
To preface the meeting, Burgum outlined some of the group's accomplishments from last interim, which included legislation that allows the governor to enter into state-tribal agreements for administration and collection of the alcoholic beverage wholesale tax; tobacco products wholesale tax; and alcoholic beverages gross receipts tax; and sales and use tax.
The committee’s work also helped lay groundwork to reach a historic oil and gas tax revenue sharing compact with MHA Nation, which was later ratified through legislation.
Members of the committee expressed their optimism for continue collaboration and desire to find more ways to work together to solve common issues.
"We know our state can’t reach its fullest potential until all North Dakotans have the opportunity to do the same, and we’re doing everything we can to ensure state government lives up to its purpose: to Empower People, Improve Lives and Inspire Success," Burgum said.
Industrial Commission visits North Dakota Mill
As part of Wednesday's meeting of the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Gov. Burgum, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring visited the state-owned North Dakota Mill in Grand Forks. The mill reports to the Industrial Commission.
The North Dakota Mill opened in 1922 to create a new market for area farmers who were facing high costs to ship their products over long distances. Today, the mill receives grain from hundreds of farmers and elevators and provides flour for some of the nation's largest suppliers and retailers.
"The North Dakota Mill has been adding value to local wheat and supporting agriculture and the local economy since 1922," Burgum said. "Thanks to the dedication of the team, the mill has continued to be a profitable organization while competing on a national level."
During their visit, the three Industrial Commission members toured various areas of the facility, including the quality assurance lab and the packaging line. Recent capital investments have allowed for increased efficiency in shipping product to the market.
Burgum: Trade deal with Japan will benefit North Dakota producers, strengthen partnership
Gov. Burgum released the following statement regarding the White House’s announcement this week that President Donald Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have reached a trade agreement in principle.
“Japan is already North Dakota’s No. 5 export market, and with this trade agreement it will become an even more important market for the corn, soybeans, beef and other quality goods produced by our farmers and ranchers, who are among the world’s best and can compete with anyone on a level playing field,” Burgum said. “We’re grateful to President Trump and his administration for their persistent efforts on this deal, which will open up Japanese markets to over $7 billion in U.S. goods. Now it’s time for Congress to pass the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement to strengthen trade with North Dakota’s top two trading partners, promote job creation and grow the economy.”
Japan was North Dakota’s fifth-largest export market last year based on dollar value at $36 million, after Canada ($6.9 billion), Mexico ($228 million), Australia ($144 million) and Germany ($60 million).
Last September, Burgum met with Japanese leaders at the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association’s 50th annual conference in Omaha, which promotes trade and cooperation between the two countries. At the conference, Burgum met with leaders from multiple areas of the Japanese government, including Japanese Ambassador to the U.S. Shinsuke J. Sugiyama and prefecture governors, along with several industry leaders, highlighting areas for investment in North Dakota. Last year marked the first year of North Dakota’s involvement in the association.
“Japan has a population of nearly 127 million people in an area the size of North Dakota and South Dakota combined. We have food and energy to export, and Japan needs to import food and energy. And Japan respects international protection of intellectual property. The United States has a huge opportunity to make a great trading partner an even more strategic ally,” Burgum said.
Burgum, Sanford meet with team at Dept. of Mineral Resources
Gov. Burgum and Lt. Gov. Sanford participated in a quarterly staff meeting with the Department of Mineral Resources (DMR) to thank the team for their diverse work regarding North Dakota's natural resources.
During the update from the Oil & Gas Division, the team reported on permitting, field inspections, pipeline monitoring and reclamation. While many other states with oil and gas activity are struggling with abandoned wells, North Dakota is one of only seven states that has been able to track all wells. Lynn Helms, DMR Director, said this is a huge advantage when it comes to site monitoring and reclamation.
Team members from the North Dakota Geological Survey, which is another division of DMR, shared information about their ongoing mapping efforts and recent finds by their paleontologists. The Geological Survey provided a summary of its 2019 fossil dig program, in which more than 600 members of the public took part in active dig sites around the state.
Burgum closed the meeting by thanking the meeting attendees for their crucial role in one of the state's largest industries and the work they do to conserve our natural resources and promote a healthy environment.