Democratic Leaders Cite Energy Conflicts - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Democratic Leaders Cite Energy Conflicts

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Democratic leaders in the State Senate and House are asking the Dakota Industrial Commission to separate what they see as conflicting roles of the director of mineral resources.

They sent a letter to the commission, citing recent events such as the Tioga oil spill, the location of an oil waste pit in Ross, and statements regarding the volatility of Bakken crude.

Lynn Helms, who has come under fire by Democrats for what they say is a conflict of interest, responded to the letter today.

"The authorizing statute for the oil and gas division talked about promoting the production of oil and gas, so, it's not just one section of statue that will have to be looked but all of 38 to eight will have to be looked at," says Helms. 

Helms says the promoting aspects of the job involve predictions for the oil and gas business, and he says the combining of the roles suites the department as oil production is up ten fold from 2005.

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