Dakota Download Governor Burgum's Weekly Update - October 12, 2018

Burgum stresses importance of innovation, workforce at Great Plains & EmPower ND Energy Conference

Gov. Doug Burgum on Monday stressed the importance of solving the state’s workforce shortage and fostering innovation in both the public and private sectors to secure North Dakota’s future as an energy powerhouse during the Great Plains and EmPower ND Energy Conference at Bismarck State College.

In closing remarks to the 12th annual conference, Burgum said the state continues to strongly support an all-of-the-above energy strategy, highlighting its robust oil and gas, coal, wind, hydroelectric and biofuels sectors.

“With oil and gas production hitting record levels thanks to private-sector innovation, coal plants becoming cleaner and more efficient under a supportive White House administration, and more than one-fourth of our net electricity generation coming from wind, North Dakota is a shining example of how a common-sense regulatory environment can spell economic success and ensure a low-cost, reliable energy supply,” Burgum said. “We owe this success to private-sector investment in new technology and efficiencies, and we’ll continue to encourage such investment through our focus on innovation, not regulation.”

Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, who participated in a morning panel with U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and Rep. Kevin Cramer, both highlighted efforts to address the state’s workforce shortage. Those include the Main Street Initiative’s focus on creating healthy, vibrant communities that can attract and retain a 21st century workforce, and the results of a recent employer survey being used by the state’s Workforce Development Council to craft policy recommendations aimed at alleviating the workforce shortage.

Courtesy: Tom Stromme, Bismarck Tribune

Burgum thanks interim Tribal Taxation Issues Committee and tribal leaders for collaboration as panel’s work concludes

Gov. Burgum on Wednesday thanked members of the interim Tribal Taxation Issues Committee and leaders of North Dakota’s American Indian tribes for their collaborative work as the committee held its final meeting and discussed draft legislation for the Legislature to consider in January.

Burgum thanked the Legislature for forming the committee, which was unique for an interim committee in that it included both legislative leadership and the governor as chair.

"The goal of this committee between the two legislative sessions was to try to advance the opportunity for collaborative tax policy with the tribal nations inside of our border. We’ve had a number of productive meetings and today will be one more where we continue to keep the dialogue going. I want to thank all the tribal leaders and their staff that have been to prior meetings, those that have hosted us when we’ve had meetings in tribal lands," Burgum said in his opening remarks. "We believe that if you’ve got a stable tax and regulatory environment, that attracts business and capital – and attracting business and capital is good for all the citizens of our state. And so we’re striving to move forward toward that goal.”

The committee discussed two draft bills that Sen. Dwight Cook of Mandan plans to introduce next session. One would give the governor authority to enter into separate agreements with individual tribes to administer sales and use taxes, while the other would provide the same authority to enter agreements with tribes for wholesale taxes on alcohol and tobacco.

Burgum, Sanford visit VCSU and MSU as campus tours continue

Gov. Burgum and Lt. Gov. Sanford spent Tuesday visiting Valley City State University and Mayville State University on Friday to get a first-hand look at activity on campus.

The visits come as part of the administration's commitment to visit all 11 of North Dakota's public higher education institutions, which Burgum announced at this year's State of the State Address in Minot. Last November, Burgum established a task force to assess the existing governance structure for higher education in North Dakota and determine if changes are needed to ensure the system meets the state’s educational and workforce needs in the 21st century. Transforming education is one of the governor's five strategic initiatives.

Gov. Burgum with Best in Show aware recipient Steve Silseth of Minot.

Winners named in 2018 Governor's Photo Contest

Steve Silseth's photo “Pintail” has been named Best in Show in the 15th annual North Dakota Governor's Photo Contest.

Gov. Burgum recognized the winning photographs and honorable mentions in a ceremony on Wednesday in Memorial Hall of the North Dakota Capitol.

Joining Burgum for the presentation were North Dakota Tourism Director Sara Otte Coleman and North Dakota Council on the Arts Executive Director Kim Konikow.

In “Pintail,” Silseth captured the moment just before the duck takes flight, leaving a trail of geysers through the water. The photo also took first place in the wildlife category and was selected as the best from the 1,072 photos submitted to this year's contest.

Photos were judged on originality, subject matter, visual appeal and ability to portray North Dakota as a legendary travel destination in the categories of adventure and recreation, places to visit, communities and events, fun with family and friends, scenery and wildlife.

“Today we celebrate the talents of North Dakota amateur photographers and the vibrancy that makes our state an exciting destination and a place to Be Legendary,” Burgum said. “These images capture some of the picturesque landscapes, unique attractions and abundant wildlife found throughout North Dakota.”

The North Dakota Governor’s Photo Contest is a collaborative program between the Governor’s Office, North Dakota Tourism, the North Dakota Council on the Arts and contest sponsor AAA. The 2018 winning photos will be on display during the months of October, November and December at the Capitol.

First Lady shares story with ND Hospital Association, urges leadership in fight against addiction

First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum on Wednesday shared her story of recovery with the North Dakota Hospital Association (NDHA), challenging the health care community to be leaders in the fight against addiction.

Throughout the dialogue, Helgaas Burgum encouraged hospital leadership and frontline providers to educate and treat addiction as a chronic disease, to eliminate stigma through storytelling and sharing of experiences and to carry and administer the lifesaving opioid overdose antidote naloxone.

The NDHA is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization comprised of hospitals and health systems, related organizations and other members with a common interest in promoting the health of the people of North Dakota.

Sanford helps celebrate completion of Oasis natural gas plant, calls for more infrastructure

Lt. Gov. Sanford on Friday joined officials to celebrate the completion of the Oasis Wild Basin II natural gas processing plant near Watford City, stressing the need for additional gas capture infrastructure to support continued growth in North Dakota’s energy sector.

The new facility commissioned by Oasis Midstream Partners will have the capacity to process 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day, adding to the company’s existing Wild Basin plant’s capacity of 120 million cubic feet per day. Plant operations are expected to begin in November.

“This new facility and several other natural gas processing plants under construction in North Dakota will greatly expand our state’s capacity for oil and gas production while also supporting additional gas capture to reduce flaring,” Sanford said, noting the 15,000 oil and gas wells in the Bakken today is projected to grow to more than 60,000 wells in 15 to 17 years. “We’re grateful to Oasis Midstream Partners for its significant investment in North Dakota, and we look forward to additional investment like this to grow our state’s production capabilities and increase America’s energy independence.”

Department of Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms also reported that the state set records in August for both oil and gas production for the second month in a row. Oil production climbed to 1.29 million barrels per day, or about 22,000 barrels per day higher than July production, while natural gas production increased by about 44 million cubic feet per day to a record 2.437 billion cubic feet per day.

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