ND House Passes Bill to Hide Oil Spills

An oil spill from the Belle Fourche Pipeline was discovered in December near Belfield, N.D. (North Dakota Department of Health)

A bill to allow oil companies to avoid reporting some of their spills passed in the North Dakota House this afternoon in a 82-11 vote.

The bill (read it here) is sponsored by Rep. Roscoe Streyle, a Republican from Minot, who received the following campaign donations from the oil industry in 2014:

  • Continental Resources PAC: $1,000
  • Marathon Oil Company Employees PAC: $750
  • ND Oil PAC: $1,500
  • Newfield PAC: $300
  • Tesoro PAC: $400
  • Whiting Petroleum: $300
  • WPX Energy PAC: $750

Current state law requires oil companies to report all their spills. But Streyle’s bill would let oil companies keep secret their “contained” spills of 420 gallons or less.

Rep. Roscoe Streyle

Given the significant number and size of recent spills, you’d think that the state would be getting stricter about reporting so the public can be more aware of companies’ fuck ups.

Instead, the state’s politicians want to hide that information. We’re sure it has nothing to do with those donations.

The bill still needs approval in the state senate. Let Roscoe know what you think: rstreyle@nd.gov.

24 Comments on "ND House Passes Bill to Hide Oil Spills"

  1. Judge Thomas A. Davies (retired) | January 25, 2017 at 5:06 pm |

    The North Dakota Super Majority represents itself, not the people who blindly elect them because they have an R by their name. This bill should be vetoed if it reaches the Governors desk but I’m not holding my breath .

  2. Please do not pass in the Senate — veto it. Too many spills will be hidden.

  3. Agreed Judge. The people of ND and taxpaying citizens ceretainly have been forgotten and republican special interests are running rampant. I am sure Roscoe will get a nice “pat” on the back from his big oil pals.

  4. Is this why more jobs would be accounted for n that bloated 28K of jobs ?!?! Insanity … and a waste of lawmaking energy! How about clean energy lawmaking!!!

    Most importantly hiding reality is not a laudatory nor beneficial environmental result … maybe a Corp Remediation job if Hidden cannot be sued over? Do you really think the public is blind and not going to care ? Oh we care … didn’t you see the March or NODAPL !!!??!!

  5. How can a bill this bad make it to a vote..I am proud of our state and want to keep it as pristine as possible.
    How do u hid spills that harm land, kill wildlife, why would you give that much freedom to anyone. Is it the almighty
    Dollar? Stay off my land I want it as pure as possible. Our family land was homesteaded and I believe it is up to us to
    Protect it. It has provided three generations a living. I do not want a oil pit dump that be can be hidden. You are allowing
    The dirty oil producers to rape our state…I know their are good oil operations, but too many are here today and gone tomorrow.

  6. Actually, this bill makes it more strict than what it was before. Did anyone actually read it?

  7. It is truely sad how money buys votes and legislation, no matter how negative the consequences to humanity. Somehow money justifies bad actions!

  8. It is important to report ALL oil spills.

  9. DISGRACEFUL! WHAT ABOUT HUMAN AND ANIMAL LIFE WE CAN’T DRINK OIL OR GAS! THEY ARE NOT THINKING ABOUT OUR CHILDREN OR THEIRS ONLY THE MIGHTY BUCK! TIME TO GET RID OF ALL THE CORRUPTED PEOPLE WHO WORK WITH THE GOVERNMENT ALONG WITH THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF! BRING IN FRESH NEW PEOPLE WHO HAVE COMPASSION FOR OTHERS!

  10. Think beyond your life and pocket book! | January 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm |

    Where is the scienctific research 420 gallons does no harm? All oil spills need to be reported! Any volume is to,much!

  11. Given that the DAPL has been put through by skirting prior EPA regulations for larger projects by pretending to be a series of smaller projects that all hook together, will the above legislated lying make it possible for oil companies to break larger spills into a series of smaller ones, so that they don’t have to mention them either?
    Seems like the next logical step.

  12. It’s not clear what was actually amended beyond the numbering & labeling of items, where I saw strikeouts through numbers or letters in the list. How do we know what’s amended if you don’t see the previous version?

  13. What is the name of the bill please/bill number.

  14. This is a terrible bill. How can Rep. Streyle justify this bill other than he is choosing money over common sense environmental concerns. Hopefully this will be vetoed, but again…what is he telling others about his priorities??? Horrible

  15. They bought this guy for about $5,000. Politicians are much more expensive in other states!

  16. All this does is allow the oil companies to pretend that they “believed” the spill to be under 420 gallons – or to break it down into smaller “projects” as noted by others, so that each ‘piece’ of the spill is “too small” to warrant reporting. (“Ooops, I guess we underestimated the size of that spill, my bad!”)
    I’ll agree to this bill when all the authors and supporters agree to a mere 420 gallons of crude oil being dumped on their front lawns for their children and pets to play in. Surely it won’t be enough to bother them, right?

  17. Don’t like it.

    Spill reporting points to problem areas, and shows trends as to areas (operation types, equipment types and companies) that should be watched closer and inspected more often.

    My concerns could be partially addressed by increasing mandatory fines per gallon spilled above and beyond the cleanup costs of course. Bad actors and poor operators need incentives to comply with best management operation and safety practices and this bill weakens much of those incentives.

  18. Perhaps you’re not aware of it Roscoe, but…

    1) What you are proposing is immoral and unethical.

    2) Passing laws which benefit your campaign donors, but have the potential to hurt your constituents is immoral and unethical.

  19. Money does not mean a thing if every one dies from drinking oil

  20. Are all “Roscoes” this easily bought off or is “Roscoe” from Minot especially this easy? Roscoe you are a cheap floozie.

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