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North Dakota’s colleges pitch education to laid-off roustabouts

WILLISTON, N.D. – North Dakota’s public universities have launched a scholarship program to enroll laid-off oilfield workers in energy classes, contending their best path to a new job is learning mechanical and computer skills. The strategy is designed to raise university enrollment as much as it is to prevent a drain of talent from the second-largest oil-producing state in the ...

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Minnesota congressional delegation splits on Keystone rejection

WASHINGTON — President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline Friday split Minnesota’s U.S. Senate and House delegations. “The State Department has decided that the Keystone XL Pipeline would not serve the national interest of the United States,” Obama said. “I agree with that decision.” The president called the pipeline “a campaign cudgel” used by both parties that “obscured the ...

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Texans in Congress react to Obama’s Keystone pipeline rejection

Reaction from members of Congress from Texas to President Barack Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline: “Today, President Obama once again confirmed what most of us already knew. He does not care about American jobs or the American economy. He remains controlled by a radical environmentalist agenda, which seeks the elimination of whole segments of our economy.” — U.S. ...

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Keystone XL would have helped N.D. move some of its oil

The rejection of Keystone XL is a setback for North Dakota’s oil industry, even though falling oil prices and the drop in Bakken drilling and oil production have lessened the immediate need for it. “It is a good time to say ‘No, we don’t want a pipeline’ when you really don’t need it,” said Rudy Hokanson, a Minnesota-based oil analyst ...

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Meetings scheduled to discuss pipeline reclamation program

BISMARCK, N.D. — The North Dakota Department of Agriculture is holding two town hall meetings to discuss its pipeline restoration and reclamation program. Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says the meetings are meant to help farmers, ranchers, landowners and others resolve land surface issues and answer other questions about the program. Goehring says a new brochure will be made available to ...

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Williston-area homelessness still high, despite decline

WILLISTON, N.D. — The homeless population in the Williston region is dwindling, though the number of people living without adequate shelter is still troubling, a state advocacy group says. The North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People estimates 370 homeless in the oil patch counties of Williams, McKenzie and Divide, down from the peak of 624 in 2013. Unlike other areas ...

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Western water system sales drop with slowdown in oil patch

BISMARCK, N.D. — A system bringing treated Missouri River water to northwestern North Dakota has experienced a significant drop in industrial water sales as activity has slowed in the oil patch due to slumping crude prices. Gross monthly industrial water sales through the Western Area Water Supply project slipped from a peak of more than $4 million in October 2014 ...

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Group: Iowa board is limiting public comments on pipeline

DES MOINES, Iowa — A group that opposes a proposed oil pipeline across Iowa says the regulatory board overseeing whether it gets approved is limiting public comment on the project. State officials deny that, saying they’re granting both sides equal time. Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement said the Iowa Utilities Board will hear comments from only about 200 people when ...

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Supervisors take no action on Bakken pipeline resolution

The Story County Board of Supervisors took no action Wednesday on a resolution proposed by the League of Women Voters of Ames & Story County, urging the board to request the Iowa Utilities Board conduct a complete and independent environmental and economic impact study on the proposed Bakken Pipeline. This decision comes just two weeks after the Boone County Board ...

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North Dakota regulators approve utility’s gas rate increase

BISMARCK, N.D. — Montana-Dakota Utilities Co.’s residential customers in North Dakota will see their monthly gas bills rise by about $2 under a rate increase approved Wednesday by the state Public Service Commission. The Bismarck-based utility, which serves more than 107,000 North Dakota customers in 74 communities, contends the 2 percent rate hike is necessary to help recoup the costs ...

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