Fargo Forum Report: Rick Berg Has No Plan for Roads, Housing Costs, or Infrastructure in Western North Dakota
Heitkamp and Dalrymple Both Release Plans to Tackle Road Problems and Housing in Western North Dakota,
But at Hearing, Berg Ignores the Subject Entirely
MANDAN, N.D. – Less than a week after former North Dakota attorney general and U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp released a comprehensive plan to help mitigate challenges brought about by the unprecedented oil boom in Western North Dakota, the Fargo Forum reported Saturday that Rep. Rick Berg — who still does not have a plan to help communities in the West deal with the boom — ignored the subject entirely at a Congressional hearing.
According to the Forum report:
“Aside from infrastructure issues, many communities in western North Dakota also face severe housing shortages and other challenges because of the toll the oil boom has taken in recent years.Texas Republican Rep. Blake Farenthold was the only representative to address the topic, likening North Dakota’s situation with some challenges his state has faced in tapping reserves from its own shale formation.” [Fargo Forum, 7/14/12]
“Rick Berg is running an empty, slogan-filled attack campaign that has no solutions for North Dakota,” said Brandon Lorenz, spokesman for Heidi Heitkamp. “Rick Berg has no plan to tackle housing costs or crumbling roads in the West, and no ideas for making sure we keep growing but protect the things that make Western North Dakota a place people want to call home.”
Heitkamp’s plan last week included:
Ensure Federal Oil Revenue Helps Fund Infrastructure Development in the Oil Patch In 2011 alone, the Federal Government collected $318 million in oil royalties on federal land in North Dakota. As Senator, Heidi will fight to ensure that a substantial portion of those royalty dollars come back to North Dakota to help assist city, county and tribal governments in their efforts to fund local infrastructure development, such as improving county and tribal roads, expanding health care, funding public safety expansion, providing assistance for education and daycare and expanding affordable housing. Heidi will work to ensure the federal government is a partner in developing the Bakken, not just a profiteer.
Devote Senate Staff to the Oil Patch Recent census data shows that Williston was the fastest growing micropolitan area in the country and Dickinson was #4. Heidi will locate U.S. Senate staff in the oil patch to assist with constituent services. Heidi believes it’s critical as senator to hear firsthand the concerns about how we can support infrastructure growth in the oil patch, and will do that by locating staff in the area and hosting quarterly town halls on issues of concern to those who live and work in the oil patch.
Today, as a director of the Dakota Gasification synfuels plant, she’s a champion for North Dakota’s energy industry. Heidi believes we need to use all of North Dakota’s rich energy resources wisely, creating and keeping high-paying jobs right here. Heidi says it’s time to put country first, put politics aside and work together to cut government spending, balance the budget, create jobs and get our economy back on track—while protecting North Dakotans.
Heidi lives in Mandan with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner. They have two grown children, Ali and Nathan.
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