John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.
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BISMARCK — North Dakota regulators approved a siting permit for the expansion of a natural gas plant near Watford City on Wednesday, July 26. The permit for Oasis Midstream Services, approved by the three-member Public Service Commission, will allow the company to expand its existing Wild Basin Gas Plant and Crude Handling Facility. It will be able to process 280 million standard cubic feet per day of gas, up from 80 million today, along with stabilizing up to 80,000 barrels of crude oil per day, up from 60,000 barrels per day.
BISMARCK—Officials planning the Red River Water Supply Project hope for a quick resolution to a dispute over federal plans that could affect the project's water source. Lawmakers were briefed during a meeting Tuesday, July 25, at the state Capitol on the status of the project, which would pipe Missouri River water to eastern North Dakota during droughts. Ken Vein, second vice chairman of the Garrison Diversion Board, said they hope to receive the first construction bids in early 2019.
BISMARCK—North Dakota's senators cast opposing votes in a key procedural vote Tuesday, July 25, to move ahead with debate on health care legislation, marking a victory for Republicans looking to repeal provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., voted against the motion, while Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., voted alongside most of his Republican colleagues in its favor. Vice President Mike Pence broke the tie vote.
BISMARCK—President Donald Trump's approval rating is 59 percent in North Dakota, according to a poll released Monday, July 24. The Gallup poll shows the Republican president's approval rating in North Dakota is second only to West Virginia, where it sits at 60 percent. In South Dakota, it's 57 percent, good for third-highest.
BISMARCK — A spokeswoman for the company that built the Dakota Access Pipeline said Thursday, July 13, its offer to help the state of North Dakota with law enforcement costs associated with the pipeline protests is still on the table. Dallas-based Energy Transfer Partners has "made an offer to help the state with these costs as we know it placed a great burden on the state," said spokeswoman Vicki Granado, who added that they "are thankful to law enforcement for ensuring the safety of our employees, our assets and those who live and work in the area."
BISMARCK—A group representing pharmacy benefit managers is challenging two new North Dakota laws that it says would increase prescription drug costs.
BISMARCK -- The state of North Dakota’s efforts to recover costs associated with the monthslong Dakota Access Pipeline protests hit a snag in recent weeks, but state officials say they’re continuing to explore their options.
BISMARCK — Facing historically dry conditions affecting the state's farmers and ranchers, the president of the North Dakota Farmers Union called on Congress to provide emergency financial assistance Tuesday, July 11. "It's time for agriculture to once again get the federal support that it should have, because we provide the highest-quality, best food system in the world," Mark Watne said. "We're going to need help with a disaster bill."
BISMARCK—The North Dakota Department of Health wants a better idea of how many applications it will receive from medical marijuana growers and dispensaries in the coming months. The department asked for letters of intent from entities interested in applying to become a registered "compassion center" under the state's new medical marijuana law Friday, July 7. The letters are due by the end of business July 28.
BISMARCK — The Fargo man leading the effort to repeal North Dakota's ban on Sunday morning shopping hopes to begin collecting petition signatures this month. Brandon Medenwald said Thursday, July 6, he was gathering the final affidavits from members of the sponsoring committee before dropping off paperwork at the Secretary of State's Office. He said they'll likely aim to place the repeal on the November 2018 ballot.