Protect the iconic North Dakota badlands from an ill-conceived facility that would pollute the air
Theodore Roosevelt National Park in western North Dakota stands as a testament to our country’s conservation legacy and the leader who helped shape it. President Roosevelt’s conservation ethic lives on in the 230 million acres of public lands he set aside around the country for the American people, but his decision to advocate to protect federal lands started right in his namesake park.
The California-based Meridian Energy Group has proposed building a 55,000-barrel-per-day crude oil refinery within 3 miles of Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Emissions from this facility would pollute the park’s air and threaten its dark night skies and scenic views, jeopardizing the very landscape where Roosevelt developed his vision for conservation.
This refinery is the largest infrastructure project ever proposed in Billings County North Dakota. If developed, the facility would include a large industrial park next to the national park that visitors would be able to see from numerous points in the park’s South Unit. It would also be the first thing the majority of visitors would see as they approached the park.
To put an oil refinery within view of the park would be a betrayal of the values that Roosevelt developed here. Plenty of other locations exist in North Dakota where Meridian could locate this facility, but there is only one Theodore Roosevelt National Park. Economic growth in North Dakota does not have to come at the expense of one of America’s most special places.
NPCA is urging Meridian to rescind its proposal and preserve this beautiful and historic landscape.
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