Archambault: I'm focused on the water

Nov 29, 2016
Amy Sisk / Prairie Public/Inside Energy

The chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe said he’s focused on one thing in the continuing dispute over the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Dave Archambault said it’s all about the water.

Speaking at a public forum in Bismarck Monday night, Archambault said his tribe believes protests should be prayerful and peaceful. But he said because of what he called “distractions,” the protests have strained the relationships between his tribe and the Bismarck-Mandan community.

Courtesy Governor's offic

Gov. Jack Dalrymple has issued an “emergency evacuation order” for the protest camp set up on Army Corps of Engineers’ land north of the Cannonball River.

In his order, Dalrymple said the onset of a winter storm, coupled with predictions of harsh conditions for the rest of the winter, and a lack of zoning for structures on Corps land means the protestors should leave – and not return. Dalrymple said emergency services probably will not be available to the camp because of weather.

Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier said public safety is number one for all involved.

Amy Sisk/Inside Energy

While North Dakota’s Standing Rock Sioux Tribe makes headlines in protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline, oil development is playing out differently for another of the state’s Indian nations.

One hundred fifty miles up the Missouri River from Standing Rock, pipelines and pumpjacks are plenty on the Fort Berthold reservation.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary has a message for out of state people who are protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline: "It's time to go home to your families."

Protestors have marched on the state Capitol building, the William Guy Federal Building and the Wells Fargo Bank in Bismarck – and have blocked intersections. Seminary told Bismarck reporters most of the more than 500 people arrested during the protest come from out of state.

Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) said the Obama Administration needs to make a decision on the fate of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The pipeline awaits a ruling by the Army Corps of Engineers about an easement, so the pipeline can be built underneath Lake Oahe. The pipeline has attracted thousands of protestors.

"Do not let this thing continue to play out," Heitkamp told Bismarck reporters. "Two more months before a decision, if that's what it's going to be, is not a direction -- but at least we can plan for it."

DAPL permit delayed; protestors come to the state Capitol

Nov 15, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The US Army Corps of Engineers has decided to delay an easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline project to cross Lake Oahe, south of Mandan.

In a statement, the Corps said additional discussion and analysis are necessary “in light of the history of the Great Sioux Nation’s dispossessions of lands, the importance of Lake Oahe to the tribe, our government-to-government relationship, and the statute governing easements through government property.”

Hundreds rally for law enforcement

Nov 14, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

A rally for law enforcement was held at the state Capitol Sunday.

Several hundred people turned out.

"It's showing law enforcement that people are here to support them," said event organizer Kimberly Kruska. "That was our goal."

Kruska said with officers working overtime to keep the peace at the Dakota Access Pipeline protest, this show of support is a good thing for morale.

Pat Dever has a son-in-law who is a deputy sheriff.

"They are exhausted and abused," Dever said. "All they're doing is their job. Enough is enough."

A prayer service for Dakota Access protestors

Nov 14, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The Bismarck Unitarian Universalist congregation hosted a prayer service Sunday with those protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline south of Mandan.

"The primary vision for this came from the people at the Oceti Sakowin camp, who were looking for an opportunity to pray together as people of many different traditions," said Karen Van Fossan, the church's minister. She said about 50 people from the camp came to peacefully pray and meditate.

Van Fossan said she’s been down at the camp several times.

Basin Electric "optimistic" after a rocky 2016

Nov 11, 2016
Courtesy Basin Electric

The general manager of Bismarck-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative says fiscal year 2016 has been a challenging year.

Basin is a generation and transmission cooperative, providing power to member co-ops in a multi-state region.

Paul Sukut said it began with the the co-op looking at the ramifications from the “clean power plan" – which would affect Basin’s coal-fired generation. Then, the Great Plains Synfuels Plant – which produces synthetic natural gas and other byproducts – saw prices for its products fall. And the winter was warm.

Industrial Commission approved revised oil rules

Nov 8, 2016
Dave Thompson / Prairie Public

The state Mineral Resources Department has come up with some oil and gas rule revisions that an industry spokesman says are much clearer than first proposed.

And the state Industrial Commission has signed off on the changes.

The proposed rules put new regulations on when containment berms have to be built on oil well pads. They also require wells to be at least 500 feet away from an occupied residence. And they set bonding requirements for crude oil pipelines.