Hold on tight... this is a bit of a long one!
As a property owner, a farmer, a citizen of North Dakota, and a mom, I have become increasingly interested in the future of the state. I want to make sure that my family, my children and all that come after have the opportunity to make their own decisions and live in a state which will allow them to be responsible, honorable, that respects their heritage, allows them to be innovative, creative and a productive individual.
The Drilling Permit Review Policy was adopted March 3, 2014, after it had been amended. The Commission did not allow for public comment on the amended version. The previous version of the policy had over 400 phones call to the Governor Dalrymple’s office alone and numerous additional electronic comments. Commissioner Goehring has been quoted as stating that this, the policy, is a “workable solution. We can avoid any unintended consequences”. He boldly shares this despite the fact that he knew fully that private property owners were included in the list and in the setback areas identified in the policy and that these areas located in the western part of the state and along waterways are lined by land privately owned and would be impacted by the outlined provisions. My question is, “What’s the problem we need a solution for?” We already have a system in place.
For me, the actions of the Commission are purely selfish, an attempt to appease environmental agencies, offices, and groups. They passed this policy knowing that the legislative body voted down a similar regulation when it was presented during the last legislative cycle. The Industrial Commission took it upon them self to put into action a policy (a practice imposed within an agency for enforcement) that gives environmentalist groups, generally those that are not politically aligned with the conservative principles of the Republican party, of which all three members belong to, a voice at the table while infringing on private property rights and individual freedoms.
So, why I am so hung up on private property rights? Well, because we have become a nation where we feel that it is our responsibility to govern every aspect of what everyone else is doing. We are a people that strive to please those that make the most noise. We are a people who live in fear and what –ifs and not in common sense. We are a population that has become lazy and it is time that WE THE PEOPLE stand up and take our responsibilities back and tell government and agencies of over regulation that they need to back off.
Private property rights do not conflict with human rights. They are human rights. Private property rights are the rights of humans to use specified goods and to exchange them. Any restraint on private property rights shifts the balance of power from impersonal attributes toward personal attributes and toward behavior that political authorities approve. Private property rights protect individual liberty. This is exactly why, the Drilling Permit Review Policy, passed by the Industrial Commission, is inappropriate and completely uncalled for!
At this time the Commission boasts that private property will not be at the mercy of public, state and/ or federal comment when it comes to regulating drilling permits. This is only partially true as there is a paradox within the policy. How do you separate out the private property when it is still listed on the map and in the policy. According to Governor Dalrymple, the reason that private property is still listed is that “this is a pilot policy. If it works on the public land we will expand it to the private land in that areas of interest". As stated by the governor, the policy that has been adopted, identifies several private lands among the eighteen Areas of Interest. There are also private lands associated in what the policy calls “setback” areas. Additionally, all state trust land (ie. state school land) is included in this policy, impacting use of the land as it currently is used now (hay, farming, and grazing) and into the future.
As a result of the Industrial Commissions actions, we now have to ask, “What can we do to protect out rights, our liberties, our future?” The answer is not simple. The legislature will have to deal with it in the next session, but until then we need to dialog. We have to talk! We have to share what we know, listen, speak up, ask questions, and empower each other. We have to stand up for what we believe in and let our elected officials know that we are not happy with the Commissions actions. We need to take responsibility and work to have representation that represents the people of the state that have been here, are here, and that want to have future generations reside here.
Don’t let your rights vanish. Engage. Share this with others.
Property rights are human rights and we shouldn’t let them be taken away!
For more information of the “Areas of Interest”, also called “Extraordinary Places” policy go to:
ND Farm Bureau: https://www.ndfb.org/policy/issues/environment/areas-of-interest/
Map of Extraordinary Places: http://www.nd.gov/ndic/ic-press/ND-Ex-Map.pdf
ND Industrial Commission: http://www.nd.gov/ndic/