Environment | National | Politics

Candidates for North Dakota tribe promise stronger regulation

Damon Williams. Photo from Facebook

Members of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation in North Dakota are going to the polls today to choose a new leader.

Mark Fox and Damon Williams are running for chairman. Both are promising tighter regulation of the energy industry, which has grown significantly on the reservation.

"Industry wants regulation," said Williams, 45, an attorney who used to work for the Environmental Protection Agency, told Reuters. "Otherwise, how can they follow the rules when it's unclear what's going on? When things can change on a whim?"

Mark Fox. Photo from Facebook

"We've got oil companies in the midst of this gold rush who are going things they shouldn't be doing," added Fox, 51.

Representatives of energy companies declined to comment directly about the change in leadership on the reservation. But the head of the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources says oil companies are worried that a new chairman will restrict development.

Get the Story:
Can American Indian reformers slow an oil boom? (Reuters 11/3)
Tribe At a Crossroads: An Election and an Oil Boom (Inside Energy 11/3)
ND Tribe To Drill Own Oil Wells (AP 11/3)
This Tiny Election Could Have a Big Impact on the Oil Industry (Time 11/4)

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