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LETTER: Legislature must meet Oil Patch’s urgent needs

GRAND FORKS — This is in response to and agreement with Justin Mead’s letter (“N.D. GOP averts gaze from Oil Patch problems,” Page A4, March 1).

There really is no excuse for not using, say, 2 percent of oil tax revenue to keep up with the infrastructure needs of the Oil Patch, including full broadband service, water, sewer and road construction and maintenance. Then there is the business of actual housing development.

I was an oilfield camp cook in the early 1980s with my husband. The oil companies had their own living compounds so that they could have reliable help; the best outfit was Canadian. They knew about drilling in the Arctic.

We live in an extreme part of the globe, and it would be a welcome change to have a government that acknowledged this fact.

We worked for about 18 months and were paid good money; it was basically our grubstake for starting our family.

All I’m saying is that I have some experience with the hard work, the good wages and the tax revenue that oil brings to town.

The current run is expected to last 30 years, not five years as in the past. So, it’s time to spend money for basic needs so that the residents and the short-and long-term workers actually can have a better than bare-bones existence.

The Legislature spends its time hoarding revenue in accounts such as the Legacy Fund. But as Mead says, “State leaders, it’s your job to listen to the people and respond” — not with your ideas but with action to improve the infrastructure, fire and police services, water, sewer and electricity.

Third-world-style living is not “cool.” Lawmakers need to stop acting like warlords and get back to making this state a fine and upstanding place to live.

Ellen Brehmer