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The thing about economic liberty is that it sometimes gets messy, and there really is no one way to do it. It can take some experimenting.
North Dakota is somewhat unique among states with its hands-off approach to dealing with the problems that come with industrial growth. Rather than treating the oil industry as a corrupt criminal whose every transgression must be punished, state regulators try to protect citizens while allowing the industry to operate and grow.
The approach has worked. North Dakota breezed right through one of the worst recessions the country has ever witnessed, experiencing meteoric growth while other states struggled. There are real problems, and the state is taking some innovative approaches to address those issues that don’t undermine economic progress.
Pipeline reclamation is one of those issues, and legislators established a pilot program in the last session to try to help farmers and landowners by providing technical assistance and mediation so the farmers work out a resolution with the companies. It doesn’t add regulations. It facilitates solutions between parties. Continue reading…