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
Primary Night Watch Party
June 14, 2022 @ 6PM
1029 North 5th Street
Bismarck, ND 58501
Check out this excellent breakdown from RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel about the enthusiasm we are already seeing in GOP primaries ahead of the RED WAVE this November! – Perrie
BURGUM: Leading the way in science education
In North Dakota, we’re proud to be the first state to integrate computer science and cybersecurity standards for K-12 students. North Dakota also passed legislation making it the first state to authorize a central, shared service approach to cybersecurity strategy across all aspects of state government including state, local, legislative, judicial, K-12 education and higher education sectors. Over the past three years, the percentage of public high schools statewide offering computer science classes nearly doubled. Almost 100% of North Dakota students have home access to high-speed broadband, which helped tremendously during the pandemic, and demonstrates the importance of closing any digital divide between rural and urban access.
$750,000 approved for three Agricultural Diversification and Development projects
The Agricultural Commissioner Doug Goehring has announced Agricultural Diversification and Development (ADD) Fund awards for three projects.The ADD Fund is administered by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture in association with the Bank of North Dakota. The fund was created to support new or expanding value-added-agriculture businesses that demonstrate financial feasibility, enhance profitability for farmers and ranchers, create jobs and grow North Dakota’s economy.
Absentee voting still possible 11 days until the election
To get an absentee ballot, you first need to fill out an application for an absentee ballot and send it in. In some counties, those are sent out automatically, in others, you first need to request them. After that, you fill out your ballot and send it in prior to election day. Since it’s a several step process, for those interested in voting absentee, Secretary of State Al Jaeger recommends taking action to speed up the process. “It might even be easier for them to maybe call the county auditor’s office and ask them to send out the application so that it’ll cut down on some mail time. Mail time is of concern now, with that election so soon,” said Secretary of State Al Jaeger.
New $350 Million soybean processing plant partnered with Marathon to produce renewable diesel fuel
Valley News Live
Last summer, ADM and Marathon Petroleum teamed up to turn North Dakota soybean by-products into renewable diesel. Sen. Kevin Cramer, Sen. John Hoeven, Gov. Doug Burgum, and Congressman Kelly Armstrong all attended the ground breaking ceremony for the impressive new facility born of this partnership. Ground was broken yesterday for the construction of the “Green Bison Soy Processing” plant. This $350 million soybean crushing and refinery complex in Spiritwood, North Dakota will be capable of processing 150,000 bushels of soybeans per day.
Suspension of poultry events in North Dakota extended amid bird flu outbreak
The Bismarck Tribune
The bird flu outbreak in the U.S. has resulted in the slaughter of about 37 million chickens and turkeys in three dozen states, according to state Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. Officials order entire flocks to be killed when the virus is found on farms to try to limit the spread of the virus. This year’s outbreak is the worst since 2015, when about 50 million chickens and turkeys were killed, according to The Associated Press.
Oil tax trigger take effect, thanks to higher prices on crude
Prairie Public Newsroom
“At this point in time, the trigger will be in effect for the months of June, July and August,” said North Dakota Tax Commissioner Brian Kroshus. “That is a certainty.” Kroshus said whether it extends into September and October will be based on June pricing. And he said prices so far in June are $114 to $116 per barrel. “With a strong start to June, in terms of pricing, it’s conceivable that the trigger will remain in effect for more than just the next three months,” Kroshus said.
Over 18-thousand ballots in North Dakota already cast ahead of June election
AM 1100 The Flag
Over 18-thousand votes have already been cast ahead of the June 14th election in North Dakota. Secretary of State Al Jaeger says more than 32-hundred absentee ballots and over 15-thousand vote-by-mail ballots have been returned. The totals mean just over 43-percent of voters eligible to do so early in the state have cast their ballots early.
Grant Awarded to Grape, Fruit and Wine Industry
Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring announced that a grant totaling $60,000 has been awarded for industry research of the grape, fruit and wine industry in North Dakota. “North Dakota’s grape and wine industry continues to grow,” Goehring said. “The research funded by this grant will help keep that industry advancing.”
O’Leary: In a world where data is the new oil, North Dakota has a leg up on every other state
North Dakota was picked as Bitzero’s North American hub, Shamji and O’Leary both said, not just because of the state’s climate, which is just right for heat-intensive data centers, but also because of what Gov. Doug Burgum has described as the state’s “geologic jackpot.” Burgum announced during the North Dakota Petroleum Conference in 2020 — much to the consternation of the oil and gas audience present there — that he wanted to use that geologic jackpot to reach net carbon neutral, and maybe even net carbon negative, by 2030. The legislature later helped codify those goals with three bills. Among them was one that created the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority, which is awarding grants to projects that can transform the energy landscape, and build a viable path forward for North Dakota’s fossil fuel sector even in a low-carbon world. “My goal here really is the story of North Dakota,” O’Leary said. “Because nobody knows that story. I mean, frankly, this is an incredible place.” Data, O’Leary added, is the world’s new oil. It will be needed by absolutely everything in the future. A single drone flight over an average size farm, for example, is over a terabyte of information long. There are also self-driving cars on the horizon, which will require high-speed cloud computing, and there are computers crunching millions of simulated protein shapes for medicines like COVID vaccines. That’s just to name a few of what is already an insatiable ocean of data submerged beneath nearly every aspect of modern society.
Burgum to CBP: Restore normal hours at US border crossings
In a video conference call today requested by Gov. Doug Burgum, the governor urged U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Chris Magnus to restore pre-pandemic hours of operation at several ports of entry on the U.S.-Canada border where hours were reduced in April 2020. Today’s meeting followed a letter Burgum sent to Magnus and U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas in late April, in which Burgum noted that of the 10 U.S. ports of entry into North Dakota where hours were reduced, nine of the reductions ranged from four hours to six hours. The letter came after CBP informed the state Tourism Division it had no plans to change the hours at any ports of entry in North Dakota, Montana, Minnesota, Idaho or Washington. “We’re here today to start a collaboration on what can we do together to try to get back to the pre-pandemic hours. Our estimate is that we’ve probably lost close to $300 million of tourism business,” Burgum said during the call, noting cross-border transportation also is important for agriculture, health care and other sectors. “Their economies are deeply intertwined along those border communities. So, with the reduction of hours and the closures, it’s been a great hardship, and then you throw on top of that some of the pandemic restrictions. Part of our request is how do we begin a dialogue where we can return to the pre-pandemic hours and remove some of these restrictions.”
U.S. wheat crop hit by dry winter then soggy spring, adding to global tightness
Grand Forks Herald
Soggy spring weather has all but ensured that the northern U.S. Plains breadbasket will not produce a bumper crop this year. U.S. farmers have only seeded 49% of their intended spring wheat acres as of May 22, matching 2014 for the slowest pace since 1996, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. In North Dakota, which produces about half of U.S. spring wheat, growers have planted just 27% of their crop, the second slowest pace in four decades. “Some farmers have not turned a wheel yet,” said North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “If North Dakota is not able to get a substantial amount in, it’s just going to wreak more havoc on the global market.”
Rep. Kelly Armstrong talks gun rights and gun control, and an update on a hydrogen project
The Jamestown Sun
We can’t get enough school counselors.” That’s what Congressman Kelly Armstrong had to say on this episode of Plain Talk. We’ve all been talking about how we can make our school after in the wake of another horrific tragedy in Uvalde, Texas, and much of that has been focused on proposals that would make our schools seem like prisons, with more law enforcement on campus and more restrictions on building access. Armstrong mentioned that he recently had the opportunity to spend some time in Israel. “I don’t want our children to have to go to school like they have to,” he said. While saying he wouldn’t support any new restrictions on gun sales or ownership, he said there are things we can do to help. Like hiring more school counselors. Or making some reforms to the juvenile court system that continue to protect the privacy of juvenile criminal records but don’t restrict their utility in background checks for gun transactions.
Senator: North Dakota Farmer No Longer in Ukrainian Prison
Republican Sen. John Hoeven told the Bismarck Tribune for a story published Thursday that Kurt Groszhans is no longer jailed but is still in Ukraine. Hoeven says his office continues to work with the U.S. Department of State and Ukranian officials about Groszhans’ treatment and safety.
As Renewable Diesel Demand Grows, N.D. Breaks Ground on Green Bison Facility
“We worked to secure this new soybean crushing facility, as it will be a tremendous addition to North Dakota’s dynamic agriculture and energy industries and will serve as four-for-one project that further ties these essential sectors together,” said U.S. Senator John Hoeven. “The partnership between ADM and Marathon not only strengthens the local ag economy for our farmers, but it is the kind of investment we need to continue growing our state as a global leader in energy production. That’s a benefit to our entire state’s economy.”
$6.7 Million Awarded for Railroad Repair in Oakes
U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) has announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) awarded $6,704,544 to the North Dakota Department of Transportation for Rural Economic Preservation Through Rail Replacement. The proposed project will replace approximately 14.5 miles of old jointed rail with continuous welded rail on the Red River Valley & Western Railroad between Independence and Oakes, North Dakota.
Representative Armstrong Meets with Carrington Residents
North Dakota Representative Kelly Armstrong was in Carrington to host a roundtable on Thursday, June 2nd. Armstrong shared his history leading up to serving as U.S. Representative and working through the COVID-19 Pandemic. He told participants he was also in the state to attend the ADM Soybean Crushing Facility groundbreaking in Spiritwood.
Dems say proposals to harden school security fail to address ‘gun-violence epidemic’
The Washington Times
Bolstering school security was far more popular on the Republican side of the aisle, where lawmakers presented it as a more effective deterrent to school shootings than incremental restrictions on gun ownership…Sen. Kevin Cramer, North Dakota Republican, also called for hardening schools. “If it requires some federal encouragement to do that, I think that’d be fine,” he said.
Armstrong joins bipartisan balk of climate disclosure rule, cites impact on farmers
The Jamestown Sun
Concerns with the negative impact that a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed rule would have on the agriculture community prompted 116 members of Congress to send a letter calling the rule a “significant and unworkable regulatory burden.” The Enhanced and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors rule, issued by the SEC on March 21, 2022, if adopted, would require certain climate-related disclosures in registration and periodic reports. Opponents of the rule, including Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND), say the proposed rule would require public companies to include climate-related information in their annual reports. A bipartisan rebuke of the rule claims that farmers would be forced to give burdensome climate data to public companies under SEC’s proposed ESG rule at a detriment to an industry with a valued contribution of over $1 trillion to the U.S. GDP.
Hoeven leads effort calling on appropriators to fully fund border professionals
U.S. Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND) recently led a bipartisan group of nine other lawmakers in requesting that the necessary resources to properly staff and secure the nation’s northern and southwest borders be included in the fiscal year 2023 homeland security appropriations bill. Specifically, Sen. Hoeven and his colleagues urged U.S. Senate appropriators to provide U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and U.S. Border Patrol agents with the necessary personnel, technology and tools to properly do their jobs.
Senator Hoeven: Changes coming to Fargo National Cemetery
While visiting Fargo’s National Cemetery Monday for Memorial Day, U.S. Senator John Hoeven gave an update on the future of the land and what is being done to help upgrade the grounds. Hoeven says the Natinoal Cemetery Administration has identified 30 acres for expansion, and has initiated the National Environmental Policy Act review process to acquire it. The North Dakota Senator also noted that upgrades including wind walls, storage space and restrooms should be completed by the end of the Summer
Biden’s policies send ‘bad signals’ to investors, markets, says Sen. Kevin Cramer
First thing he could do is just lift all of his regulatory craziness… his first day in office, he signed several regulations and executive orders, undid many of the good executive orders that President Trump had put in place. He also said in his Op-ed that he inherited a very bad economy, that it was very static. But the reality is, he inherited a robust economy, built on a strong foundation, built on lower regulations, lower taxes. And the reason we were able to come back so quickly after COVID was because of the foundation that was built by the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress prior to the pandemic.