ND Oil Regulator: Federal Government Wants Authority Over All ND Drilling Permits

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North Dakota’s top oil regulator, Lynn Helms, told legislators yesterday that the federal government wants to try and force all drilling permits for North Dakota’s oil fields through the federal Fish and Wildlife Office.

The federal government holds oil production rights that are scattered across western North Dakota. Helms believes federal regulators can slow down drilling outside the federally owned national grasslands and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.

Helms says the federal Fish and Wildlife Service wants to control the issuance of drilling permits because of potential harm to some protected birds.

Here’s audio of Helms speaking to legislators, saying “the desire of US Fish and Wildlife is to force every drilling permit through their office.”

Of course, the environmentalists say Helms is just fear mongering. He’s seeing “a boogeyman behind every oil derrick,” according to Wayne Schaefer of the Sierra Club.

Helms is also warning of the potential of a bird which exists in western North Dakota being declared endangered, something Helms says could derail development of roads critical to oil development.

It’s called the Sprague’s Pipit (PIP’-it). North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources director Lynn Helms says the bird lives throughout western North Dakota – and it doesn’t cross roads.

Helms says the Sprague’s Pipit may be listed as an endangered species under federal law — and if it is, oil industry road building in western North Dakota could grind to a halt.

These are frightening developments given, as I pointed out yesterday, how dependent North Dakota’s state budget is on the windfall of tax revenue driven both directly and indirectly by the oil boom.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com. In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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  • awfulorv

    Well hells bells…We used to hunt those little suckers when I was a kid. 48 per hour was the limit, as I recall. We called them sparrows though…

    • http://sayanythingblog.com Rob

      You were too good a hunter. Now they’re endangered! Or possibly…

      • awfulorv

        I can recall the days when 24 per day, 48 pheasants, in possession, was the limit. Ten hunters would go hunting at six am, and all would have their limit before church. Those were the days. They were so plentiful you could pick them off a corn pile with a .22. It wasn’t the hunters who did them in, it was the plowing of the ditches for more acreage etc. which stole their breeding habitat away from them.

  • schreib

    Tell the feds–ie Odipshit’s people to eff off

    • ellinas1

      Why don’t you tell ‘em big guy/gal?
      Send them a personal message…..if you are man/woman enough.

      • two_amber_lamps

        Hello Pederast! You’re up early today! Ever hear of the 10th Amendment?

        • ellinas1

          Happy New Year, harpy.

          • two_amber_lamps

            Yawn…. fag greekling pederast, you fail to amuse me with your droll repetitiveness…. guess you need a new writer.

  • camsaure

    Hmmm, given the sierra clubs past history, I wonder who we should believe?

  • JW-American

    Well I see boogymen in everything Obummers Administration does,

    Judging by their actions, I have yet to be proven wrong.

    I say not no, but HELL NO, (as in NO FREEKING WAY!) to allowing any Federal agency’s camel nose into my tent what-so-ever!

    Particularly a tent that yields as much to our state (which voted against this Presidential Narcissist) as the oil/gas industry does.

  • ellinas1

    Oh, we went through this BS before.
    This guy had no reason to scream wolf then as he was thoroughly refuted.

    Sprague’s Pipits were listed in 1999 by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) [1] as “Threatened”; the status was re-examined and confirmed in May 2000. Sprague’s Pipits were officially listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as “Threatened” on 5 June 2003. In the United States, Sprague’s Pipits are a Candidate for listing as “Endangered” or “Threatened” under the Endangered Species Act of 1973; however, listing Sprague’s Pipits is precluded by higher listing priorities.

    • two_amber_lamps

      Pederasts are endangered species in general population lock-ups…. how’s ad-seg working out for you?

      • ellinas1

        You must know this from personal experience.
        Happy New Year, harpy.

        • two_amber_lamps

          Oh, I gits it… you misread the title of the article and thought you could get a federal permit to drill 10 year old boys in the rectum.

          Whoops! Your mistake!

  • cylde

    It is not really the federal govt. ,it is our America hating president that is upset that part of the country is slowing his destruction of our economy stalling his push to a socialist muslim state. He is not just stupid and incompetent, he is pure evil.

  • Sue

    On the pipit’s breeding range, the Northern Plains, up to 99 percent of native grasslands have been lost to agriculture, development, and livestock grazing. On their wintering range, pipits are finding less abundant forbs and grass, less cover and food, and weed encroachment due to livestock grazing. And in between, in their migratory range, drainage of wetlands has resulted in a 50 percent loss of the wetland and wet meadow habitat they use. This little bird is very sensitive to habitat disturbances and will go out of its way to avoid human intrusions such as roads. When native grassland is plowed up for agriculture, the pipit disappears. Livestock grazing by non-native ungulates, namely cattle and sheep, has drastically altered the pipit’s habitat.

    I found this on “Wild Earth Habitat”. I saw no mention of oil or drilling halting and endangering the birds. I see our farming and livestock are to blame. (OH OH) Lucky we have a right to farm in this state huh??

  • Lynn Bergman

    The Socialist will seek taxing power over energy to fund his socialist programs; and he will succeed unless we wise up. Look at what Dalrymple and the legislature do in the name of “helping” us! Wake up North Dakotans.

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