Former North Dakota attorney general and U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp released a new TV ad, "Train" where she highlights her willingness to work across party lines to fight for another refinery in North Dakota to refine the hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil shipped out of the state each day by rail.
"Putting North Dakota's priorities first regardless of the political parties means supporting the Keystone XL and fighting for a new refinery, which will create more jobs, and help lower the price of gas for North Dakotans," said Heitkamp. "I'll work with anyone to get these projects done, because we shouldn't be watching our oil leave North Dakota to be refined in other states."
In 2009 Rep. Berg voted on party lines to reject a proposal to create incentives to "make it easier for companies to build an oil refinery and pipelines in North Dakota " The bill was favored by House Democrats. According to the Bismarck Tribune, the bill "set aside $750,000 in state funds to help companies site and permit potential refinery and pipeline projects in North Dakota. Another sponsor, Democratic Rep. Shirley Meyer said that the state was losing "millions of dollars" because North Dakota's oil was "shipped out of state for hundreds of miles to be refined, shaving about $10 off its price." The bill failed 35-59. [Bismarck Tribune, 2/5/09; HB 1261, 2/5/09, pg. 353]
A Refinery Would've Created 210 Good Paying Jobs And Lowered The Regional Cost Of Fuel. According to a report sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory, the development of a diesel refinery in North Dakota's Bakken region, would create jobs, lower the regional cost of diesel and create 210 jobs that would pay an average of $85,000 annually. [U.S. Department of Energy, 1/5/11]
Each day, North Dakota's train network transports 470,000 barrels of oil. A spokeswoman for BNSF reported that each train car that the company transports from the Bakken holds 680 barrels of oil. This yields approximately 691 train cars worth of North Dakota oil that is transported on the state's rail network. [Associated Press, 6/19/12; Platts, 7/28/11]
Heidi is a longtime advocate for a strong, multi-pronged energy industry in North Dakota. She believes our state can be a leader in reducing the country's dependence on Mideast oil through the development of domestic energy sources such as natural gas, oil, and renewable energy like solar and wind power. As a director of Dakota Gasification Company, she believes the Great Plains Synfuels Plant is an example of how innovative projects bring jobs to our state and make wise use of our energy resources. Every day, the plant creates millions of cubic feet of synthetic natural gas from lignite coal, and captures carbon dioxide emissions.