First International Bank -- Watford City -- Breaks Ground In Bismarck, ND
First International Bank & Trust, a company that started 106 years ago and is headquartered in Watford City, broke ground Wednesday for a six-story building, its largest bank, in Bismarck.
Gov. Jack Dalrymple and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem were among the dignitaries attending the ceremony.
The $40 million structure is set to open in fall 2017 and will be located across from the North Dakota Heritage Center near the intersection of State Street and Divide Avenue.
First International Bank & Trust has 26 banks (sic) in Minnesota, Arizona and North Dakota, including five locations in Fargo.
The newest bank in Bismarck will be by far the largest facility, Peter Stenehjem said.
“We’re kind of across the whole state of North Dakota; it’s funny that we kept always skipping over Bismarck," Peter Stenehjem said.
"It'll be a landmark building for all of our locations, frankly," he said.
This weeks Jobless Numbers on top of last weeks disappointing Numbers looks like the country is SO Close to Recession that the Current Inept administration in DC will not raise Interest Rates in Fiscal yr 2016 .
This should allow MDU and other similar stocks a constant base , unless the screw something else up..
todays Bismarck trib.. Bismarck get 202 Sunny days a year, near the US average of 205 sunny days. don
Solar panels are not mentioned at all in city building code, according to land use planner Daniel Nairn. And if something is not mentioned in code, it’s assumed to be prohibited. So city staff drafted an ordinance to allow solar panels in all zoning districts — with some restrictions to protect neighborhood aesthetics.
Bismarck Mayor Mike Seminary and other members of the Bismarck City Planning and Zoning Commission applauded city staff for getting ahead of the potential issue
Seminary said he expects popularity of solar panels to increase within the next three to five years.
City staff reached out to solar panel installers and the energy industry for advice when drafting the ordinance. For “building integrated systems” that are part of the home, such as a skylight, there are no restrictions. For roof- and wall-mounted panels, there are some restrictions on the angle in which they’re hung.
The most restrictions are on free-standing panels, which may be no more than 12 feet in height and, in a residential area, may not span more than 800 square feet under the ordinance. Residential lots in rural areas may have panels spanning 200 square feet per acre, and commercial properties can have panels spanning half the footprint of their commercial structure. Accessory building setback requirements will apply.
The issue came to city staff after Rick Geloff, a resident of north Bismarck, approached them with hopes of building a solar array in his backyard.
Electricity rates in North Dakota are the second cheapest in the nation, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In January, residential customers paid an average of 8.57 cents per kilowatt hour. Geloff also said he gets about 4.5 hours of sun each day on average.
“To make the numbers work, this ordinance won’t help me,” he told the commission, as the allowable square footage is not enough.
Washington post article, could ND be the 4 th state to follow suit.. this would require a special legislative session. don
TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas is suspending its work on a plan for complying with federal regulations meant to combat climate change by reducing carbon emissions from power plants.
A new state law putting the work on hold takes effect May 19 and would make Kansas at least the third state to take such a step following a U.S. Supreme Court decision in February. Lawmakers in Virginia and Wyoming included similar measures in budget legislation earlier this year, though Oklahoma’s governor issued an executive order last year to keep her state from drafting a plan.
The high court issued a 5-4 decision staying the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s rules requiring states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants until legal challenges to the regulations are resolved. Kansas was among 27 states challenging the rules, finalized by President Barack Obama’s administration last year.
Republican Gov. Sam Brownback signed Kansas’ measure into law last week after the GOP-dominated Legislature approved it by wide margins late last month. The Kansas law prohibits state agencies from conducting studies or doing other work toward drafting a compliance plan until the U.S. Supreme Court’s stay is lifted.
Brownback spokeswoman Eileen Hawley called the EPA’s rules “an unprecedented expansion of its regulatory power” and “an affront to our constitutional order and the rights of our citizens.”
“We will continue to oppose these regulations in court in order to protect Kansans from unnecessary increases in energy costs,” she said in an emailed statement.
But Zack Pistora, a Sierra Club lobbyist, said Kansas should reduce carbon emissions linked by scientists to climate change, regardless of whether the EPA rules are in effect or the federal government presses states to act.
“Climate change isn’t going to go away,” Pistora said. “Here, we’re just sitting idle
Imagine how Much Dakota Prairie Diesel these units are NOT burning each day. Fargo forum today. don
FARGO—A downturn in the regional economy has resulted in Burlington Northern Santa Fe parking about 45 of its train locomotives at the railroad's train yard just off 12th Avenue North west of the North Dakota State University campus.
"Customers' volumes across a broad spectrum of commodities have come down somewhat from their prior estimates. As a result, we are strategically storing locomotives in some yard locations across our network," said Amy McBeth, a spokeswoman for BNSF.
McBeth said the locomotives will remain stored until traffic volumes warrant returning them to service.
Quarterly profits for Forth Worth-based BNSF, which is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, fell 25 percent in the first quarter of 2016.
The railroad has been cutting staff in the wake of falling oil prices, which has depressed demand for shipping
In addition to a countywide moratorium, a controversy over the removal of trees for a Minnesota solar project has prompted an amendment in the state legislature.
The amendment, offered by state Rep. Marion O’Neill, would prohibit solar projects if more than 75 percent of the trees in an area larger than three acres would have to be cut down. The bill to which her amendment was attached cleared the Minnesota House on April 27, though the Senate has yet to take it up.
The proposed legislation only applies to solar projects, and does not restrict other land-intensive uses, such as real estate development or mining. Rep. O’Neill did not return calls for comment on the distinction.
Local officials, however, insist they’re not singling out solar for criticism, and that the unique circumstances of the project caught them off guard.
The controversy erupted in Wright County in early April, when Enel Green Power North America (EGP-NA) workers clear-cut some 11 acres of mature hardwood trees – an area roughly the size of 8 football fields – for the 80 acre solar array.
The location is part of a planned $250 million, 150-megawatt Aurora Solar Project, scattered over 21 sites in 16 Minnesota counties, that is expected to go online at year’s end. The project received approval from the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in May 2015.
The tree clearing took place near the town of Buffalo, an exurban community about 40 minutes from downtown Minneapolis, where farm fields and natural areas are interlaced with suburban housing and commercial projects.
Locals, no strangers to development, were incensed that they received no warning that the roughly 1,000 trees were coming down.
“They just came through and cut them all down – they’re gone,” said Buffalo Township clerk and treasurer Tom Kleist. “We questioned afterwards why they did that. We really haven’t gotten a good response.”
MDU Resources Group Inc., will only run its Dakota Prairie Refinery in Dickinson at 75 percent capacity following continued losses of $7.2 million in the first quarter.
MDU Resources CEO Dave Goodin said the company is assessing its options regarding its partial ownership in the refinery, which started operations a year ago. With a low local demand for diesel and higher costs of production, the refinery is currently only processing 15,000 to 16,000 barrels of Bakken crude daily. The lowest the capacity can be sustainably reduced at the refinery is 14,000 to 15,000 barrels per day.
MDU’s partner in the refinery, Calumet Specialty Products Partners, LP, also said in its quarterly earnings report that it may divest of some of its assets including Dakota Prairie.
Despite the continued struggle of the refinery, other MDU Resources business sectors experienced growth in the first quarter and company earnings are on the rise.
“The other businesses for the most part doing very well; I think that’s why shares are at their highest since last summer,” said Edward Jones analyst Brian Youngberg.
He said many investors likely assume MDU will try to exit the refining industry.
“The trick may be finding a buyer … especially when their partner is struggling even more,” he said. “There are plenty of good refiners out there but how many want to buy into a depressed North Dakota market.”
Cornerstone Bank will break ground on a new location in Watford City on Tuesday, May 3 at 11:00 a.m. at the building site located on Highway 85, just east of Heggen Equipment. The bank is scheduled to open to customers in the summer of 2017 and will offer conveniences like a drive up ATM and better parking in addition to the same great services offered at the current location. Cornerstone is working on this project with the Architecture Firm Wild CRG.
At present stock price and current Company provided Earnings estimates this dog is trading at 19 times 2016 Earnings , instead of a golden parachute, give the MisManagement of this Hodgepodge a Case of Alpo dog food and send them packing.. don
the So-called Execs get their bonus, and more and the Shareholders get a sample size Jar of KY..
From MDU press release..
The refining segment experienced a $7.2 million loss, which includes the results of the company's 50 percent ownership interest in the Dakota Prairie Refinery. The refinery, which began commercial operation in May 2015, is operating satisfactorily. However, market conditions for diesel and naphtha have deteriorated greatly. The Bakken basis differential from West Texas Intermediate (WTI) pricing remains narrow, which increases the refinery's cost for its crude oil feedstock. The company continues to focus on operational improvements and cost-cutting measures at the plant to improve profitability.
In light of current market conditions, the company is assessing various options with respect to its ownership interest in the refinery, is assessing the potential for an impairment charge at some future time if current market conditions persist, and continues to assess potential impairment indicators.
Dickinson press article.. to what extent will this slowdown effect MDU and earnings..??
WILLISTON -- Though thousands of hotel rooms and apartments sit empty and a major big-box store is about to close, those who work there say they're still optimistic about North Dakota's Oil Patch.
"I do say we are busier than you would think we would be," said Tom Rolfstad, Williston's former economic development director.
Still, as drilling rigs went from more than 200 during the boom to below 30, development has dried up. A Home Depot store that opened just three years ago will close next week.
Shane Roers came from the family business in Fargo to Dickinson, where Roers West has made a mark developing new projects for businesses, apartments and homes.
"I think that there's definitely not a fear factor like there was in the past, but I can tell you there's people not pulling the trigger on stuff," Roers said. "As oil gets up to 40 bucks, maybe that will start easing. If we can get up to 50 bucks -- it's going to take some time. If it jumped up to 60 bucks tomorrow, it's not going to happen right away. It's going to have to level off and get some stability until people feel comfortable with it."
In Williston, hotels have the biggest challenges. Twenty-two were built during the boom, and even that wasn't enough back then. Now they have 1,800 open rooms and are running at just 20 to 25 percent capacity, Rolfstad said.
"They're actually more on the bleeding edge than anybody," he said.
That's one reason some in Williston want to shut down the remaining crew camps for oil workers, allowing hotels to benefit from workers still here.
With about 3,200 vacant apartments in Williston, Rolfstad figures about 6,400 bedrooms are vacant. And rents are down by "half at least," he said.
At the height of the boom, tenants were paying $2,500 a month. Now, occupancy is so low property managers are offering deals and incentives to incentives to renters who often are paying something close to $750 a month.
todays Washington Post. don
OMAHA, Neb. — The Latest on Berkshire Hathaway’s annual shareholders meeting, where tens of thousands of people have listened to CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger talk business for several hours (all times local):
Berkshire Hathaway shareholders have overwhelmingly rejected a resolution calling for the company to write a report about the risks climate change creates for its insurance companies.
CEO Warren Buffett says he agrees that dealing with climate change is important for society, but he doesn’t think climate change creates serious risks for Berkshire’s insurance businesses.
Buffett says the fact that Berkshire generally writes insurance policies for one-year periods allows it to regularly re-evaluate risks, such as climate change.
The activists who proposed the motion tried to urge Buffett to take a public stance in favor of measures to reduce consumption of fossil fuels, but he resisted.
Stearns County commissioners will hear from the public on Tuesday whether they should temporarily ban new solar farms.
The county board has scheduled a public hearing at 10:10 a.m. on a proposed moratorium on solar projects to allow time to review and change the county's land-use regulations.
Minnesota is seeing a flood of proposed solar projects, largely because of a 2013 state law that required utilities to get at least 1.5 percent of their electricity from solar by 2020. The plunging price of solar technology also is making the projects more lucrative for developers. Congress recently extended a federal tax credit for renewable energy projects until 2019.
Stearns was the first county in the state to enact standards for solar farms in 2009 in response to a request from St. John's University.
Some recently proposed solar projects in Stearns County have drawn opposition from residents who don't want to see a solar farm in their neighborhoods. Neighboring residents objected to rezoning property in Wakefield Township earlier this month planned for a SunEdison solar project.
The board could decide against enacting a moratorium and instead create a working group to review the county's regulations with an outside consultant.
Bohrer said the industry knows it will be a challenge securing the funding because budgets are tight but LEC aims to make lawmakers understand the rule’s magnitude.
“The Clean Power Plan changes the world we live in today,” McLennan said. “It’s the biggest problem facing the industry today
Bohrer said the industry has been able to deal with regulatory issues on its own in the past so state lawmakers assume: “You guys are going to be able to fix this right? … They have a hard time visualizing plants will shut down.”
Carbon restrictions are not likely to go away no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decides regarding the Clean Power Plans’ constitutionality, said Wade Boeshans, president of BNI Coal. The High Court could decide to leave the rule as it is.
If nothing else about the rule is changed, what the lignite industry hopes to see is a better timeline, Bohrer said. Instead of having to reach an interim benchmark, utilities are aiming to have until the final 2030 deadline to meet the changes
“If you give us until 2025, we think we could make it happen,” Bohrer said.
A technology the lignite industry is pinning high hopes on to solve its carbon woes is the Allam Cycle.
The Allam Cycle, invented by 8 Rivers, uses pressurized carbon dioxide rather than steam to generate power more efficiently, at a lower cost and cleanly. It is being tested on a $140 million, 50-megawatt natural gas-fired power plant in Texas. After completing engineering and design work, North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center and industry partners decided the technology had potential for use with gasified lignite coal.
Part of the $5 million general fund appropriation to the Lignite Research Council went to lab test the Allam Cycle carbon capture and utilization system against the properties in lignite coal to determine what materials would be necessary to make the technology w
Bismarck tribune article. don
North Dakota coal plans to ask the state for financial help — billions of dollars of financial help over time.
Despite a stay on the federal rule, the coal industry potentially faces large carbon dioxide emission reduction requirements from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.
“This is no longer a vague threat out there in the future,” Lignite Energy Council President Jason Bohrer told members at the organization’s annual meeting this week in Bismarck.
Bohrer said North Dakota policy makers will need to answer the question: Will the state set a priority to help the lignite industry remain viable?
The coal industry asked the state for a direct appropriation for the first time during the past legislative session — $5 million from the general fund for the Lignite Research Council. The council, which makes recommendations to the North Dakota Industrial Commission on funding lignite coal-related research projects, was typically funded with extraction taxes collected from the coal industry.
Over the next several legislative sessions, the industry plans to ask for more.
"Because of the challenges facing the industry, it will be at magnitudes larger than what people have thought about historically,” said Mac McLennan, CEO of Minnkota Power Cooperative.
McLennan said the LEC is working on a package that will likely include requests for a multitude of tax incentives, including incentivizing oil companies who use carbon dioxide for enhanced oil recovery, potential financing from the Bank of North Dakota and more research and development funding.
“I can’t do it on my own as a utility because of the risk,” McLennan said of investments. “If it doesn’t work, you’re in trouble.”
This funding request would be the state’s way of sharing in the risk and making it more viable for the industry, according to McLennan.
Use subject for search .. don
•U.S. wind energy generation rose to 191 TWh in 2015, accounting for 4.7% of the country’s electricity. That was an increase on the 4.4% wind contributed to U.S. power in 2014 but, due to weaker winds, it was only a 5.1% increase on 2014’s total TWh, the smallest increase in wind’s output since 1999.
•Weather patterns in the Western U.S. caused lower wind speeds and decreased wind production in the first half of 2015, though the same weather patterns caused the stronger winds in the central U.S. that were the basis for major wind output growth in that region.
•U.S. wind’s cumulative installed capacity reached 73 GW in 2015. New wind capacity grew by 8.1 GW, a 12.9% gain, and wind led all resources in new installed capacity for the year, accounting for 41% of new U.S. megawatts. Wind was second only to hydropower in TWh of generation from renewable sources.
Wind productivity is regularly affected by seasonal wind patterns, regional factors, and climate variations. But the absolute amount of wind generation and wind's share of total U.S. electricity generation have increased every year since at least 1999.
While natural gas prices are near historic lows today, most analysts believe prices will rise, and utilities in some regions of the country are realizing gas plants may not be the best cost bet over the long term.
The extension of wind’s $23/MWh federal production tax credit (PTC) late last year and the 66% drop since 2009 of wind’s installed cost make new investments in wind appealing to many utilities, especially those in the center of the country, like Xcel Energy.
“With the full $23/MWh PTC, wind produces energy at below the cost of a combined cycle turbine with the forward gas curve we see. That is in-the-money,” Xcel Energy Colorado President David Eves recently told Utility Dive
was changed twice the week of april 21st.. the Previous was $ 19.20 from Feb 6th of this yr.. the new projected TP is $21.00 .. based on a $ 1.08 earnings in 2016 that is a astonishing PE of 19.44 for a 3rd rated utility stock.. Tues also is Market day in Bismarck as the company has its Annual meeting .. don
this excerpt from todays Bismarck trib. lots of additional info on size of airport and usage numbers in article..use subject as search .. don
Officials in Williston have begun acquiring land for a new airport, which is increasingly drawing concerns from county commissioners over a potential eminent domain process if landowners aren’t willing to sell.
Williston's airport saw a 10-fold increase in passengers from 2008 to 2014, in large part due to record oil activity. Supporters are calling the estimated $265 million project a substantial long-term upgrade to the city.
Sloulin Field International Airport Director Steven Kjergaard said the city plans to follow the federal Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970, which outlines the land acquisition process for public airports
Williams County Commissioner Martin Hanson has long opposed the project, saying the current facility is adequate if runway upgrades are made to meet Federal Aviation Administration requirements.
“There’s nothing that’s changed in my point of view,” Hanson said. “Maybe I’m Don Quixote and maybe I’m just tilting at windmills, but I figured someone has to say something about this.”