Delegation: Interior Decision Good Step, More Work To Do

NEW TOWN, N.D. – Senators John Hoeven and Kent Conrad and Congressman Rick Berg today said the U.S. Department of Interior’s decision to approve the Three Affiliated Tribes’ application to put the land for their new refinery into trust is a positive step, but more needs to be done. The senators and Congressman said the Interior Department needs to continue efforts to assist the tribes’ as they work to complete the project.

Senators Hoeven and Conrad and Congressman Berg have been working together to help the tribe build the new refinery at Fort Berthold. That means helping the tribe obtain all the necessary EPA permitting, and also pushing the Interior Department to move the land into tribal trust.

“This approval represents another step forward for the Three Affiliated Tribes and our state, but more work remains,” the delegation said in a joint statement. “It will create new jobs, especially for members of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation.”

The new 13,000 barrel-per-day refinery project will produce diesel from Bakken crude oil and is expected to create up to 1,000 jobs during its approximately two-year construction phase. Once operational, the refinery is expected to create more about 140 permanent jobs, and propel job growth in the local service industry.

Hoeven and Conrad are members of the Indian Affairs Committee and Hoeven also serves on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee of the U.S. Senate. Congressman Berg serves on the House Ways and Means Committee. They have been working to build support in Congress to create a healthy U.S. economy through energy and technology-related job creation.