Legislators’ Pro-Pipeline Letters Ghostwritten By Fossil Fuel Company

“Letters by key legislators including North Dakota’s governor written by officials of MDU Resources, a subsidiary of WBI Energy”

“This March, North Dakota’s governor, Doug Burgum, sent a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) emphatically supporting the North Bakken Expansion Project, a 61.9-mile natural gas pipeline that has angered environmentalists and Native American nations alike.

Building pipelines, the 8 March letter stated, “ensures the long-term viability of our state’s oil and gas industry, preserves the quality of our environment, and allows our state’s producers to capitalize on this valuable commodity while supplying markets in need”.

Yet Burgum’s letter omitted a key detail: it was based on a template provided by Justin Dever, a senior public affairs officer for MDU Resources.

The line that claimed the pipeline would bolster both the oil and gas industry and “the quality of our environment”, was lifted verbatim from the template letter sent by Dever, email correspondence obtained through a public records request shows.”

Will Parrish reports for the Guardian July 2, 2020.