BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum met today with Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke in Washington, D.C., discussing a number of issues of importance to North Dakota, as Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford participated in a meeting in Bismarck to work toward improving gas capture and right-of-way processes on federal lands.
In the nation’s capital, Burgum and Zinke – a former U.S. congressman from Montana before being appointed to lead the Department of the Interior – discussed several topics within Zinke’s oversight, including water and minerals management, tribal affairs and national parks.
“We’re fortunate to have a leader from Montana who understands the issues facing North Dakota, our tribes and our energy development,” Burgum said, adding he looks forward to Zinke’s visit to North Dakota next month for the Williston Basin Petroleum Conference.
In Bismarck, Sanford took part in a meeting at United Tribes Technical College with officials from two of the federal agencies Zinke oversees – the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Bureau of Land Management – along with tribal leaders including Chairman Mark Fox from the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation; representatives of the oil and gas industry; and North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission Executive Director Scott Davis, who facilitated the meeting.
Participants discussed the need to streamline right-of-way acquisition for pipelines and gas capture infrastructure on federal lands, which could help further reduce flaring while benefiting the tribes and other mineral owners through increased royalty payments on natural gas.
“We understand the importance of responsible energy development, properly compensating mineral owners and protecting the environment, and today’s meeting of government, tribal and industry leaders was a truly meaningful gathering aimed at advancing those goals,” Sanford said.