Page 10 ■ Thursday, February 16, 2012
North Dakota pumps record Continued from page 1
for more favorable working conditions. “The mild winter has been a big windfall for the industry as a whole,” Kringstad said. North Dakota produced an average of 534,884 barrels of oil daily in December, up
from 344,122 in December 2010. The state had 6,565 producing oil wells in December, or 1,210 more wells than in December 2010, state documents show. December production fi gures were the latest available, because oil production num-
bers typically lag at least two months. The state Industrial Commission said 202 rigs were drilling Feb. 8, up from 165 a year
North Dakota sweet crude was fetching about $83 a barrel last week, up from about $78 this time last year.
Bill to boost patch funds Continued from page 1
for building new schools in communities with rapidly-growing student enrollment. It also would be used for new teachers’ salaries and housing. One example of a growing school
district in need, Meyer said, is Williston. Meyer said a Williston school offi cial testi- fi ed before the North Dakota Legislature’s interim energy committee in January that the district has had to manage an infl ux of 480 students over the past two years, with an additional 1,200 expected next year. “We have to educate these kids some-
where,” Meyer said. Meyer said she has been working on the
initial draft of the bill herself. “If nothing else, it will trigger a reaction.
The bottom line is they need substantially more money,” Meyer said. “They need a ve- hicle to have it done I’m hoping my bill will be that vehicle.” She noted that Dickinson, which had a population of 17,787 according to the 2010 census, is one western city that is expected to continue growing. Meyer said a Dickin- son offi cial told legislators at the January interim energy committee meeting that the city is serving approximately 22,000 and that the population is estimated to reach as high as 35,000 within four years. She said the infrastructure package passed during the last legislative session was a good start. However, she said, more is needed. “We have a lot of our eastern legislators
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(that) just don’t understand the serious- ness of the impacts,” Meyer said. “We’ve got to put our data together and make our case. We should have done it yesterday.” Jeff Zent, director of communications
he’s open to looking at the distribution formula and to see if it can be improved to meet the needs. It’s too early in the cur- rent budget cycle to make determinations about how much money will be available and how much will be needed in western North Dakota. We don’t know yet what the needs will be across the state,” Zent said. House Majority Leader Al Carlson, R-
director for Gov. Jack Dalrymple, said the governor hasn’t seen the legislation being drafted by Meyer. “Gov. Dalrymple has always said that
ADM closing North Dakota ethanol plant in April
WALHALLA (AP) — Archer Dan-
iels Midland Co. is closing its ethanol plant in the northeastern North Da- kota city of Walhalla in April, putting 61 people out of work. The Illinois-based agribusiness
conglomerate said it will provide sev- erance packages and opportunities to apply for jobs at other company facili- ties, but Walhalla Mayor Christopher Jackson said the loss of jobs will hurt the city of about 1,000 people. ADM said the plant’s location and scale made it diffi cult to compete. “It is a big hit to the community just because of the number of people that work there, and they’ve worked there a long time,” he said. “Anytime you lose that number of jobs in a community our size it’s going to be hard.” ADM has not said what it will do
Fargo, said he hadn’t heard anything of Meyer’s bill. Carlson said from his perspec- tive the tax system is something that needs to be looked at. He also questioned the timing of her effort to come up with a bill. “Must be an election year,” Carlson
committee is already looking at drafting legislation to address a number of tax is- sues during the next session. “We understand the problem,” Carlson
(Reach Nick Smith at 701-250-8255 or at nick.sm
He added that the interim taxation
with the plant when it closes. U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., on Feb. 7 said he spoke with a company vice president about the possibility of working with state and local developers and private investors to keep the plant operating under new ownership. “Our primary concerns are fi rst to
make sure that employees are taken care of and second, that the company work with us to try and fi nd another company to resume production at the
facility,” Hoeven said. The plant opened in 1985 as Dawn
Enterprises. It changed hands twice in the late-1980s and early 1990s and has closed and reopened several times throughout its history, its fate tied to fl uctuating gas prices and various sub- sidies and tax incentives, the Grand Forks Herald reported. Company spokeswoman Jessie
McKinney said the closure of the plant is not tied to the expiration last year of a federal tax credit for the corn-based fuel. “ADM determined that the Walhal-
la facility was not delivering suffi cient returns because its geographic location and scale made it diffi cult to compete in the marketplace,” she said. The Walhalla plant has the capac-
ity to make about 30 million gallons of ethanol fuel per year. McKinney said customers will be supplied through other ADM plants in Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska and Minnesota. “This closure is to optimize our U.S.
corn processing operations,” McKin- ney said.
ADM announced last month that it planned to cut 1,000 jobs, or about 3 percent of its total workforce, as it navigates a volatile global market for crops.
Governor hopes to keep Walhalla plant operating
Gov. Jack Dalrymple has offered state assistance to try to ensure the
future of a plant in northeastern North Dakota that currently produces ethanol. Archer Daniels Midland Co. is closing the Walhalla plant in April, end- ing 61 jobs. A spokesman for the agribusiness conglomerate said the plant will no longer be used for ethanol production, though ADM plans to re- tain ownership and might use the facility for something else in the future. Dalrymple has directed the state Commerce Department to work with ADM and local offi cials to analyze potential uses. He said Commerce also will help identify and recruit potential investors, and is prepared to offer loan help, job training and other support programs. Job Service offi cials also will go to the plant to help workers with unem- ployment and job-searching.
— Associated Press
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