Target: Doug Burgum, Governor of North Dakota
Goal: Don’t weaken North Dakota’s oil spill reporting requirements.
North Dakota’s oil spill reporting requirements could be severely weakened should a new bill be passed into law. The new piece of legislation would not require companies to report spills contained on oil well sites that are 10 barrels or fewer, or 420 gallons. This is being justified by the increase in efficiency it will lead to in state government offices. This is being done because many state employees of North Dakota think the current oil reporting process is an “administrative burden.” The attitude of those in charge of how our states deal with environmental hazards has to be different than this. The natural world is far more important than the “administrative burden” necessary for keeping it safe.
Many environmentalists, local farmers and ranchers in the area are fighting this bill. These are the people experiencing the effects of these spills on a daily basis. Under the new law, there would be no way of knowing how many spills of 419 gallons of oil have happened. And even though one spill may seem small, multiple spills could be a huge threat. The fact that they never are reported creates a loophole that could be devastating to the environment.
The state and oil companies argue that the oil well sites are built in a way to contain spills of this volume. And as much as that is true for some wells in North Dakota, it is not true for all. Many of the older wells, still very much in use today, do not have the aforementioned ability to contain the spills, yet would still fall under this same law requiring to report of the spill.
This law is the exact opposite of the kind of legislation that will help us in our battle with climate change. Sign this petition to ensure this bill does not pass.
Dear Governor Burgum,
A bill was recently put for in North Dakota weakening the state’s oil spill reporting requirements. Laws like this cannot be the future of your state’s relationship with chemical hazards and how they relate to the environment. This law creates a loophole in which an unimaginable number of oil spills could go completely unreported. This is no way, shape, or form assists us in our future battle with the effects of catastrophic climate change.
The landowners and farmers in the affected areas are fighting this law because they experience the real effects of the spills on a daily basis. Your administration is overlooking the well-being of these farmers and the ecosystem in which they exist for bureaucratic efficiency. You don’t want this to be the legacy left by your time as governor. Please work to ensure that this bill does not become law.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Patrick Kelley