Saturday, December 28, 2013

North Dakota claims responsibility for river silt

The North Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that the state owns the minerals in his navigable rivers to the 'normal' high water mark:
Unless appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, this ends a years’ long dispute while oil revenue that would normally have been paid out was withheld in special accounts. The loser in this opinion are dozens of individuals, the city of Williston and Williams County who claimed minerals between the low- and high-water marks along the Missouri River in the Williston region, or what’s called the “shore zone” of the river. One company involved in the legal dispute is Brigham Oil, now Statoil Oil and Gas, which joined the litigation so the court could sort through the conflicting claims on its oil wells. [Lauren Donovan, Bismarck Tribune]
The Army Corps of Engineers fee for surplus water within the Missouri River system is in the news. Recall that North Dakota's Lake Sakakawea will be first to be drawn down.

Rep. Kristi Noem (earth hater-SD) added an amendment as part of the Energy and Water Development appropriations bill preventing the corps from using any money in the bill to issue rules or regulations related to charging a fee for surplus water.

The state does not own this water it merely warehouses it at federal expense. The Lewis and Clark allotment (long overdue in fruition) also part of this bill cut water allocations promised to downstream states whose rights predate South Dakota’s.

So who is responsible for millions of cubic yards of sediment in the main stem dams? If the dams were dredged there wouldn’t be enough water in the system to generate the power now happening: why would Rep. Noem want to deny the Corps that revenue? South Dakota receives zero dollars for hydropower generation but eminent domain forces transmission lines to be built: how is that in the state’s best interest?

Silt deposits are the responsibility of the state. AG Jackley should sue the mining and ag industries for that runoff. The state took a severance fee: why should it be held harmless? How is this different from taking a tobacco settlement after having levied taxes on said product?

South Dakota doesn’t own the 2.5 trillion dollars stored within its borders for Citibank and Wells Fargo so why isn't it being charged for that surplus? Because Bill Janklow created that by sheer force of will. Remember ETSI? Since when is interstate commerce controlled by the states?

That would be in the butt, bob.

Mrs. Noem has sold out her own children's clean water future as an ag producer having decimated groundwater supplies and is now using the Environmental Protection Agency clean water rules while those in her party rail against the EPA. It's pork: Noem's amendment shifts $25M to a rural water program from spending $15 million for efficiency, renewables, and reliability.

Mr. Obama: tear down these dams.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Karry, Noem what a tool that is bought and paid for. Sadly corruption in the US. When I was little my father told me not to waste water leaving the faucet on while brushing my teeth. He said wars will be fought in the future over water. Ground water aquifers are being either depleted or contaminated at an alarming rate. I remember an environmental biology in college where we learned about blue babies being born in Minnesota from all the Nitrogen from ag that contaminated wells.

Silt in the Missouri? Check out Springfield, SD and although a beautiful scenic and nature area the river is filled with silt and looks like it will become just a big filled in valley compared to the open water you would see at Mobridge or upstream. Lynn G.

Anonymous said...

Larry* Sorry dyslexic this morning. Lynn G.

The other disturbing item in this is that we still don't know what chemicals are being used in fracking since the oil industry maintains it's a trade secret making it very difficult to check for contamination of our precious water supplies. I'm preaching to the choir I know.

larry kurtz said...

Frustrating that Tom Daschle was able to hold mining companies harmless and that Noem, et al. refuse to acknowledge Democrats' roles in protecting corporations in South Dakota where hypocrisy is inscribed in law.