BISMARCK, ND – Eighty-nine percent of North Dakotans statewide said they favor oil and gas development in state, and 55 percent said they strongly favor it according to a survey commissioned by the North Dakota Petroleum Council (NDPC) in November.
“North Dakotans continue to overwhelmingly support oil and gas development in the state because of the strong impact it has on growing our economy, creating tens of thousands of new, good-paying jobs, and in helping increase our nation’s energy security,” said Ron Ness, president of the NDPC. “We have seen an increase in the number of residents who strongly favor oil and gas development, and I believe that is an indication that the industry is developing these resources responsibly and with great consideration to the communities and landowners in western North Dakota.”
The survey is conducted annually to help the industry better gauge how North Dakotans feel about oil and gas development in the state and to identify key issues and challenges that the industry may work to address. The survey found that while a majority of North Dakotans favor oil development, more than 70 percent are concerned about truck traffic and cost and availability of housing. When asked about progress in these areas, however, 45 percent said progress was being made on roads and highways, 41 percent said progress was being made on availability of housing, and 60 percent said progress was being made on affordable housing.
Despite concerns for these and other areas, about the same number (71 percent) of North Dakotans believed that the benefits of oil development outweigh the risks. In fact, when asked if oil development should slow down on private land, 76 percent of North Dakotans said no, and 58 percent said development should not be slowed down on public lands.
“The industry recognizes that communities in western North Dakota are impacted by the rapid growth brought on by oil development, but this survey shows that we are making progress,” said Ness. “By and large, North Dakotans agree that while we do have challenges with our growth, these are good challenges to have, especially in light of high unemployment and a struggling economy nationwide.”
Since 1952, the Petroleum Council has been the primary voice of the oil and gas industry in North Dakota. The Petroleum Council represents more than 400 companies involved in all aspects of the oil and gas industry, including oil and gas production, refining, pipeline, mineral leasing, consulting, legal work, and oil field service activities in North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Rocky Mountain Region. For more information, go to www.ndoil.org.