South Dakota Legislators Tour the Bakken | VideoJennifer Joas | 8/30/2012
North and South Dakota legislators boarded a bus for a two day tour of the Bakken oil play. Their first stop was Tioga, where legislators spoke with industry leaders about oil development.
"What we want to do is ensure that the legislators are well informed of what`s actually going on in western North Dakota. So that they can pass some informed legislation. That`s really our goal," said Hess general manager Steven McNally.
Legislators then toured the Hess gas plant and rail facility. Tour speakers say it`s important for everyone to understand what`s happening in the oil fields, because it impacts the entire state.
"Within our own state we should know what we`re doing, because we are the best stewards of our land. And to know what we`re doing in the western part of the state, in drilling these wells and fracture stimulating, if you understand the process through the education, then you can understand it is safe," said Kathleen Neset with Neset Consulting.
Legislators also toured a fracking and rig site. South Dakota leaders say they want to learn a lesson from their neighbors, and are hoping they have some more time.
"I think that the Bakken has so much potential, it`s going to be a number of years before the big companies decide that they want to really get serious about South Dakota. So I think we have plenty of time to deal with the roads, and the schools and what might happen in some of our communities," said South Dakota Senator Bruce Rampelberg.
Rampleberg is part of a summer study committee for oil and gas trying the plan the future.
The trip ended today with a tour of Williston and a discussion with city leaders.