Fracking money has been hard to come by, so maybe $16 million dollars will get some of those fracking rigs back in business. KFYR TV reported in November that over the course of one year, we went from 57 active drilling rigs down to 14.

Ron Ness with the North Dakota Petroleum Council summed it up like this...

Companies will try to maintain their production but it’s going to be difficult as we move forward without the drilling rigs. So, it’s a pretty big challenge. Right now, our production is doing fine. Ultimately, that lack of new rigs, that lack of new wells, that will create a fall in North Dakota’s oil production

What is Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security act or CARES act? State, Local, and Tribal Governments can lay their claims to $150 billion for navigating the impact of COVID-19.

So yes, North Dakota's oil industry has been in a free fall that predates the pandemic.  But with travel being way down, gas prices are way down, and revenue is way down.  COVID-19 related? In many ways yes. But let's look at two watchdog organization who believe CARES cash shouldn't cover the cost of those fracking wells.

The Bismarck Tribune filed a fine story on the efforts of North Dakotans For Public Integrity, and the Dakota Resource Council in jointly sending a letter to the state Emergency Commission and the North Dakota Industrial Commission.  In that letter they questioned "gifting" $16 million to the oil companies.

The money is directed at wells that have been drilled but just never got fracked.

It's capped at $200,000 per well and spending starts now since this money needs to be burned by the end of the year.  So you can't deny that jobs are being created and isn't that a way to say we do CARES?

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