Category: In The News

Western North Dakota Landowners Call Property Rights Bill ‘Offensive’

A group of Western North Dakota landowners recently testified against ND Senate Bill 2344, saying the bill is an offensive taking of private property rights. Our own Derrick Braaten testified to urge lawmakers to consider a more in-depth study of the issue instead of proceeding with the current bill. See the full story here.

Industrial Commission gives oil industry more flexibility on flaring

Derrick Braaten, a Bismarck attorney who represents landowners and royalty owners, said he doesn’t think the commission is taking the right approach to encourage investment. “To me, it’s too much of a nice guy approach,” Braaten said. “I understand being business-friendly, but businesses respond to regulatory environments, too.”

Sides spar over water permit for refinery near national park

A company developing an oil refinery near Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota has supplied adequate information to justify drawing water from an underwater aquifer, State Water Commission officials testified Wednesday. An attorney for area landowners challenging the recommended permit for the Davis Refinery countered that information from developer Meridian Energy Group has been … Read More

Attorney Derrick Braaten Addresses Reclamation in Wind Development

Braaten recently commented on the Public Service Commission’s rules for wind energy projects.  Braaten said he’s impressed with the commission’s progressive rules, but urges landowners to request additional bonding in agreements with wind companies because, in his experience, the bonding amount required for energy facilities is rarely enough to restore land. “We’re so much on the front end of the wind development,” Braaten said. “There’s just a lot of question marks.”

Attorney Keagle Quoted in US News Article About Proposed Badlands Bridge

Some ranchers are upset about the proposed bridge in the Badlands.  Attorney David Keagle represents the Short Family, whose property is the preferred location for the bridge, according to a draft environmental impact statement.  Keagle says that Short’s family feels the costs of the project outweigh the benefits.

Attorney David Keagle at Public Hearing for Controversial Bridge Construction

More than 100 people attended a public hearing to discuss a river crossing bridge proposed for north of Medora. Attorney David Keagle was present at the hearing and represents the Short family. He said the family feels the costs of the project outweigh the benefits. “It’s going to help a handful of people,” Keagle said.

Derrick Braaten Quoted in NBC News Article about ND Farmer’s Fight with Petro Harvester

Braaten represents Daryl Peterson, a ND farmer whose property has been the site of significant oil production-related spills. Daryl says it’s become his “life’s mission” to get some justice for his land, so he and his wife are suing the oil company, Petro Harvester.  “It’s incumbent on me to protect my property to the best of my ability for myself and my family,” Peterson said. “Enough is enough.” Braaten says, “The Oil and Gas Division [of the Department of Mineral Resources] has a regulation that says you need to restore the land to its original condition. … I think anyone understands what that means,” he said. “When you get into the details, you start to understand how that’s not actually happening.”  

BLF attorneys file legal arguments over extraordinary truck traffic and un-permitted operations at Davis Refinery

JJ England recently filed a complaint on behalf of Dakota Resource Council against Meridian Energy alleging the company’s zoning permit from Billings County is not valid. The complaint alleges the conditional use permit granted by Billings County in July 2016 is not valid because the company did not construct or begin operating the refinery within a year, citing Billings County zoning ordinances that require a conditional use to be instituted within a year of the permit’s approval. DRC alleges that Meridian significantly changed plans for its refinery since obtaining the county permit but failed to apply for a new permit under the revised plans.