Roughrider Roundup – April 11, 2022

Happy Monday!

Dear Fellow Republicans, 

We wanted to provide you with a roundup of everything you might have missed from North Dakota’s great Republican leaders this past week. Please share with family and friends!

Perrie Schafer, NDGOP Chairman

Photo of the Week

Hometown Heroes! Two North Dakota Army National Guardsmen are being recognized after they recently rescued migrants from drowning while they were crossing the Rio Grande.

Specialists Luis Alvarado and Gracin Clem, from North Dakota National Guard’s 957th Engineer Company, were conducting Mobile Surveillance Camera site operations for Customs and Border Protection on March 22 in Texas when the two saw five migrants attempting to swim across the Rio Grande.

North Dakota

North Dakota tax office to stay open late for filing deadline
Grand Forks Herald
Tax Day usually falls on April 15, but it’s pushed back this year due to the observance of Emancipation Day. Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus said tax experts from his office will stay at work an extra two hours on April 18 to answer last-minute filing questions by phone or in person at the state Capitol. The office’s individual income tax staff is reachable at 701-328-1247. Kroshus noted residents who cannot file their taxes by April 18 need to file for an extension with the Internal Revenue Service using Form 4868. He reminded people who owe taxes to make a payment by April 18 to avoid penalties and interest. Kroshus also encouraged North Dakotans to file their taxes electronically in name of accuracy, security and timeliness of refund processing.

Caliber Midstream likely to face fines for failing to permit 2014 pipeline
Williston Herald
Caliber Midstream is likely to face a fine for failing to permit a 2014 pipeline with the Public Service Commission, Public Service Commissioner Chairwoman Julie Fedorchak told a representative of McKenzie County during the pipeline’s belated siting hearing on April 6. “Otherwise it doesn’t provide much of an incentive for others to follow the law,” she said. “I think that the law exists for very good reason, to protect the landowners, the environment, cultural resources prior to construction so companies know what they’re getting into. And so it’s always better when projects that fall within our jurisdiction are permitted ahead of time so that the best possible construction route and techniques can be followed.” Fedorchak said the Commission will likely take the matter up in a separate proceeding, and that she appreciates the county sending a representative to make their opinion about the matter known.

North Dakota agencies review cybersecurity
The Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota officials have participated in a series of cyber preparedness exercises since 2016. The state will conduct a cyber exercise in June. “It’s imperative that we take a proactive, whole-of-government approach to addressing cybersecurity threats for the protection of our citizens and the essential services and sensitive data they entrust to their state, local and tribal governments,” Gov. Doug Burgum said in a statement.

Audit: Gwinner Fire Dept. used public money for booze, food, golf
Knox Radio
A state audit of a rural fire department in eastern North Dakota found that it used public money to purchase booze, food and golf outings for its volunteers and staff. State Auditor Josh Gallion said Friday that the Gwinner Rural Fire Protection District spent more than $28,000 of public funds on alcohol, meals and golf trips from 2015 to 2020.

Grand Forks to host 2022 North Dakota Travel Industry Conference
Williston Herald
The conference, which annually attracts more than 200 travel professionals, includes continuing education, renowned speakers, trainers, best practices and peer-to-peer networking on industry trends, marketing, and business topics….The Governor’s Awards for Travel and Tourism presented by Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford, DMAND President Julie Obrigewitsch, and Commerce Tourism and Marketing Director Sara Otte Coleman will close out the conference on Wednesday, April 27.

New pipeline proposed for Bakken crude oil
Prairie Public Newsroom
The North Dakota Public Service Commission will hold a public hearing on a proposed crude oil pipeline that will cross McKenzie and Golden Valley counties. Bridger Pipeline, LLC is proposing a 16 inch pipeline, that will carry 105,000 barrels of Bakken crude per day – expandable to 250,000 barrels per day. It’s a $122 million project. “It will be 145 miles in total, with 80 of those miles in North Dakota,” said PSC Chairman Julie Fedorchak. “It will end in Baker, Montana.” Feoorchak said at Baker, it will connect to other pipelines, that go to Guernsey, Wyoming and other locations. “The company said it will provide the only direct route for Bakken crude to Cushing, Oklahoma,” Fedorchak said. Fedorchak said this investment by Bridger shows continued confidence in the Bakken.

Fourteen college students inducted into 2022 All-North Dakota Academic TeamAM 1100 The Flag
“Only the most highly driven and accomplished students are named to the All-North Dakota Academic Team,” said North Dakota University System Chancellor Mark Hagerott. “The 17 students from throughout our system who were named to the team this year are tremendous examples of academic achievement and volunteer spirit.” Students nominated for the state team are also eligible for the All-USA Academic Team. Team members also receive a certificate from North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, along with becoming elidible for scholarships from multiple state universities.

Public safety telecommunicators honored by Burgum
Wahpeton Daily News
Recognizing that emergencies requiring law enforcement, fire or emergency medical services can occur at any time, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum issued a proclamation declaring Public Safety Telecommunicators Week from Sunday, April 10-Saturday, April 16. “Public safety communicators provide a continuous link from those in need to the emergency services providers who will respond to assist,” Burgum stated. “When an emergency occurs, the prompt response of law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics is critical to the protection of life and preservation of property.” Law enforcement officers, firefighters and paramedics are kept safe in part because of the quality and accuracy of information obtained when people contact North Dakota’s local public service answering points, according to Burgum.

‘Tankhouse,’ a movie set and filmed in Fargo, gets a national release date
Grand Forks Herald
“Tankhouse,” the feature film shot in Fargo in 2019, is coming to a screen near you. Distributor Vertical Entertainment announced Thursday, April 7, that the film will be released in limited theaters and to streaming platforms on May 13…The film was produced by Los Angeles-based Matthew Cooper and Click Content Studios, a video production company owned by Fargo-based Forum Communications, which owns The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Forum Communications President and CEO Bill Marcil Jr. and Click’s Managing Director Jim Manney are listed as executive producers. Fargo native Jessamine Burgum is also an executive producer…Burgum also has a role in the film. Her father, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, was seen behind the scenes on the set.

Egg prices soar due to bird flu
The price of a carton of eggs is increasing because of avian influenza — also known as bird flu. North Dakota is one of 21 states with confirmed cases of avian influenza, which is an airborne disease that infects both commercial and backyard poultry, limiting egg supply. “Protecting our North Dakota producers, who raise approximately 1 million commercial birds yearly, and our many backyard bird owners is high priority,” said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

Bakken’s lifespan is growing, but getting that story past ESG metrics may be another story
Williston Herald
The Bakken’s lifespan is increasing thanks to technology, based on a two-year analysis of well production trends conducted by North Dakota Pipeline Authority Justin Kringstad…Getting that story out to the investment community is another matter, however, and a topic of timely discussion at the recent North Dakota Industrial Commission. “How do we get this information to Wall Street and to the investment firms, so that they recognize the expansion of the core?” Gov. Doug Burgum asked…Burgum said that trend means it’s very important that the state ensure it is not underinvesting in technologies that can decarbonize all of the state’s energy sources in its all-of-the-above energy strategy.

Washington, D.C.

Hoeven, Cramer vote against confirming Jackson to Supreme Court
The Bismarck Tribune
North Dakota’s two U.S. senators voted against the confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson to the U.S. Supreme Court, citing qualms over how she will rule on cases. “I am concerned by her record and believe she will try to legislate from the bench rather than strictly uphold the Constitution and law as written,” Sen. John Hoeven said in a written statement Thursday after the Senate voted 53-47 to confirm Jackson, who will be the first Black female justice. Hoeven and Sen. Kevin Cramer, both Republicans, met personally with Jackson, an appeals court judge, as part of the confirmation process. “In my meeting with Judge Jackson, we discussed her judicial record and covered numerous cases which are important to North Dakota,” Cramer said in a statement Thursday after the vote. “While our conversation was cordial, it was apparent we fundamentally disagree on how judges should interpret our laws and the Constitution.”

ND lawmakers join vote to ban Russian oil imports
Lawmakers made a big move Thursday to cause damage to Russia’s economy as it continues its war against Ukraine. Congress voted overwhelmingly to ban Russian oil imports and suspend normal trade relations with Russia and Belarus. Both North Dakota’s Senators and Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-ND, voted in favor of the bill, which was proposed weeks ago. Sen. John Hoeven, R-ND, has been pushing for the passage of the bill since it was introduced weeks ago. “This legislation not only bans Russian oil imports, it also ends permanent normal trade relations for Russia, making it harder for them to export any product. Again, it’s part of our effort to do anything we can to shut down the Russian war machine,” said Hoeven.

No more ‘dillydallying’ and ‘lollygagging’: Congress finally puts its foot down on Russia
“It sends such a strong united message to our allies and adversaries we are serious about this, we mean business, we are in it to help Ukraine win it,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said of Thursday’s votes. “More and more members both on the left and right are hearing from their constituents overwhelming emotional support for Ukraine, and they are responding in kind.”

We Contacted Every Single Senate Republican To Define ‘Woman.’ Here’s What They Said
Daily Caller
Zero out of 50 Democratic Senators responded to the Daily Caller’s inquiry…”The beautiful thing is I don’t have to, God already did it,” Cramer said to CNSNews. 

Cramer opposes bill shifting resources from state wildlife services
Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-ND, urged fellow lawmakers Thursday to send more money to the North Dakota Game and Fish Department. This comes as a bill he proposed to provide more money to state wildlife agencies was amended to strip funding from those agencies to provide more dollars to federal agencies. Due to the changes, he now said he will no longer support such a bill. “It reduces the money going to states and instead shifts it over to the very people who say, if you just give us more money, we can do better for you. Forgive my skepticism, but I am so tired of bureaucrats who say ‘if you just give us more, we could help the landowners more,” said Cramer. Cramer originally introduced the bill in a bipartisan effort alongside 31 lawmakers from both parties, but now won’t support it in its current form.

GOP Senators Look to Extend Title 42
President Joe Biden plans to do away with Title 42 COVID-19 expulsions on May 23. Congressional Republicans have been predicting an impending rush to the border as a result. Now, the new bill would extend Title 42. The bill was introduced by GOP Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Jim Risch of Idaho, Roger Wicker of Mississippi, Steve Daines of Montana, Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, Mike Braun of Indiana, Mike Crapo of Idaho, John Hoeven of North Dakota, and Tim Scott of South Carolina.

China warns US over planned Pelosi trip to Taiwan
The Hill
“The situation in Ukraine is the very real consequence of weak leadership and a lack of true deterrence for Russia. Taiwan is a friend, good trading partner, and beacon of freedom and democracy,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said regarding a similar bill he put forth in the Senate. “Our bill threatens crippling financial sanctions as a deterrence to China trying to follow in [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s footsteps as it relates to Taiwan,” he added.

KX Conversation: Sen. Kevin Cramer discusses drilling leases in the US
KX News
WATCH: Sen. Kevin Cramer joined us in our April 6 edition of KX Conversation to discuss remarks he will make on the Senate floor Wednesday night about President Joe Biden’s insinuation that because there are around 9,000 approved oil leases going unused, the oil industry is refusing to increase production.

ND Congressman Armstrong in a statement says, “I hear concerns from agriculture producers in North Dakota nearly every day about rising fertilizer prices. I urge President Biden and his administration to take immediate actions that will help lower fertilizer costs, secure our supply chain, and allow our farmers to continue to feed and fuel the world,” said Congressman Armstrong.

GOP senators urge DHS to release findings from probe into Border Patrol agents
Fox News
A group of Republican senators on Wednesday urged the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to release its findings from the probe into Border Patrol agents who were at the center of false claims that they “whipped” Haitian migrants…The other senators on the letter are Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, John Cornyn, R-Texas, Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., Josh Hawley, R-Mo., Tommy Tuberville, R-Ala., and Mike Lee, R-Utah.

Democrats ‘gaslighting the American people’: Rep. Armstrong
Fox News
WATCH: Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-N.D., criticizes the climate crowd for making it more difficult to develop long-term solutions to domestic energy.

UND awarded biomedical research funding
Grand Forks Herald
UND has been awarded a grant of nearly $250,000 for biomedical research from the National Science Foundation. The grant was announced in a release from the office of Sen. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. The funds will be used to develop “stimuli-responsive, biocompatible and biodegradable polymers” that can be used in biological and medical fields. The research will be conducted by Binglin Sui, an assistant chemistry professor, along with his students. According to the NSF grant extract, Sui is proposing to address the challenges that prevent materials with nanoscale sizes from being used in biomedical applications.

‘We see the storm coming’: U.S. struggles to contain a deepening global food crisis
If the U.S. fails to respond to the food crisis abroad, some lawmakers worry China or other rival countries could use their grain reserves to gain additional political influence across Africa and Asia…“They are predators. They are extorters,” Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) said of China, noting Beijing’s previous efforts to use commodities and their own assets as a sort of “predatory lending” tool. China isn’t likely to be in a position to export significant amounts of grain anytime soon, according to economists tracking the situation. But it’s possible Russia could try to fill a small segment of the food supply gaps left behind by Ukraine. U.S. officials worry that Russia’s recent threat to export its agricultural products only to “friendly” nations will lead some vulnerable countries to remain silent about the Russian invasion. “This is why we — as a peace loving, freedom loving, generous nation — cannot abandon our post in these fragile areas,” said Cramer, adding he would be inclined to support a stand-alone funding bill. ”The leadership voids will be met by others that will exploit it for much less noble purposes.” For now, Cramer is in the minority of his GOP colleagues, many of whom note the U.S. is already a top provider of global food aid and that the administration still has money it can spend from current aid programs — including Cramer’s own home-state colleague, John Hoeven. Hoeven, asked if the U.S. should increase funding for programs that purchase and send U.S. commodities abroad, replied, “We should use the existing programs.”

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