UNDATED – (DRG News) A series of oil related meetings that were held over the past few weeks in the northwest quarter of the state were well attended. The Legislative Oil and Gas Study Committee held meetings last week in Buffalo and Bison and the South Dakota Farmers Union hosted meetings this week in Buffalo, Lemmon and Isabel. State Senator Ryan Maher of Isabel is on the legislative study committee. The committee’s 15 lawmakers are looking at the impacts of North Dakota’s spreading oil development on South Dakota. The Farmers Union meetings were held to educate residents and leaders about challenges presented by an oil boom—and Maher says landowner rights were also discussed.
Maher estimates that one well a month is being drilled already in Harding County and says there are two oil rigs already working there. Besides the legislative committee’s work to look at taxation and mineral interests, Maher says the Governor’s Office is studying the possible spread of the oil boom on such areas as schools, roads, bridges, law enforcement, medical care and more.
Maher says it’s possible that five or six different bills could be formulated through the work of the Legislative Summer Study Committee.
Maher says lawmakers on the Oil and Gas Study Interim Committee will soon get a first hand look at North Dakota’s oil patch.
Maher believes two areas–Lemmon in Perkins County and nearby Harding County–are already seeing growth due to North Dakota’s oil boom. South Dakota could see more of an impact from oil and gas if new fields are developed here.
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