September 21, 2021
Bismarck State College graduating Mystician Editor-in-Chief Robert Mechaley, III

Living the Crude Life – July/August 2021

“A carbon tax is gonna increase the cost of energy on consumers in America and I don’t think consumers in America want that. As Secretary of State Pompeo said, it also puts us at a disadvantage to the rest of the world. So, why in the world would we tax carbon and…not only charge ourselves more for what we use every day in energy, but also put ourselves at a disadvantage to our non-allies across the world? So, I’m not a believer that there’ll be a carbon tax.”

Ron Ness, president, North Dakota Petroleum Council


Michael Maltsev, president, RigER: Oilfield Operations Management Suite“It is an art and very sensitive how to balance the savings and investment into the digitization because not all digitization goes to the savings. Sometimes you do not see the direct savings, rather there is a long-term savings happening that streamlines the processes of getting the data faster.”

Michael Maltsev, president, RigER: Oilfield Operations Management Suite


“We’ve recently announced green hydrogen agreements supported by the Governors of Utah and California, and the City of Los Angeles, and now we’re announcing a blue hydrogen hub with the support of the governor of North Dakota. This is part of our strategy to bring decarbonized hydrogen throughout North America to customers in the power, transportation and industrial sectors. Together with our partners and customers, we are creating a Change in Power.”

Paul Browning, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Power Americas


“We are grateful for Bakken Energy’s commitment to further developing North Dakota’s abundant energy resources. From exploring salt cavern storage for natural gas liquids and hydrogen to next generation power projects, Steve Lebow and the Bakken Energy team are truly on the cutting edge of innovative energy solutions, helping us find new niches for North Dakota’s all-of-the-above energy offering and our unique geological footprint. We thank Bakken Energy and Basin Electric for collaborating to build upon our long story of energy innovation at Dakota Gasification, and we congratulate and welcome the Mitsubishi Power team to North Dakota and look forward to an exciting future of energy innovation together.”

North Dakota Lt. Governor Brent Sanford (and former Mayor of Watford City)


Former U.S. Secretary of State and publicly rumored presidential candidate Mike Pompeo

“A carbon tax is bad for America. It will impose costs on a product that the United States uses not only for its internal purposes…we think about cars and gasoline, right. We think about the energy natural gas fire[d] power plants that supply electricity, but [we] ought not forget how much of our fossil fuels are processed into all kinds of things. Plastic things we use daily, medical devices. This is an industry that impacts every sector of the American economy and, therefore, our capacity to sell all of our products around the world at affordable prices.”

Former U.S. Secretary of State and publicly rumored presidential candidate Mike Pompeo


Lynn Helms, Director, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources

“So, we think that we’re gonna get really back in business next year and that we can have another decade of phenomenal growth and so I put some challenges out there of some things that people have to do to make that happen. We’re going to invest in research and field trials and figure out how to do what they call enhanced oil recovery, which we think can double the amount of oil that we recover from the rock, and that’d be over the next ten years. Hopefully, there’s more to come behind that.”

Lynn Helms, Director, North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources


“We believe that clean hydrogen derived from natural gas, with the carbon captured and with its cost advantages, is the best way to accelerate the adoption of hydrogen. Bakken Energy intends to be the largest and lowest cost producer of clean hydrogen in the United States.”

Mike Hopkins, CEO, Bakken Energy


“A carbon tax, while I don’t think it’s fair and I don’t think it’s right, ultimately would probably force even more action as it relates to capturing the carbon and sequestering it or using it in a manner that provides value.”

North Dakota Senator Dale Patton


Charles Gorecki, CEO, Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC)“Again, there may be a carbon tax in the future. I worry about what that will be to the end use or the people of North Dakota and the United States as far as how much more they might pay for energy…That’s the unintended effect of a tax generally, is all those costs are passed on to the consumer.”

Charles Gorecki, CEO, Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC)


Bismarck State College graduating Mystician Editor-in-Chief Robert Mechaley, III

“These conversations need to be had. My relationship with oil and gas is complicated. On one hand, you have the very Utopian ideas of a much brighter future that doesn’t rely on the old ways but, at the same time, the old ways are so deeply entrenched in us that it’s very hard to kinda separate ourselves from them.”

Bismarck State College graduating Mystician Editor-in-Chief Robert Mechaley, III


“There are certain elements of Waters of The United States (WOTUS) I consider unlawful.  This is a discussion I am more than willing to have.”

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Michael Regan

Author Profile

Jason Spiess is a multimedia journalist, entrepreneur and content consultant. Spiess has over 25 years of media experience in broadcasting, journalism, reporting and principal ownership in media companies.  (Over 30 years experience if you count his adolescent years as a newspaper delivery boy learning the importance and logistics of daily distribution and monthly door-to-door bill collecting.) Spiess has worked in the areas of oil and gas, UAS and precision agriculture, health care, cannabis, agriculture, real estate, government affairs and economic development. Spiess is the host of two radio programs, Building the Bakken and Coffee & Capitalism, and three specialty programs, MonDak OilField Review, Corporate Ink and UnStuck, that carry a radio network that spans five states and two countries. Spiess is a North Dakota native and graduated from North Dakota State University.

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