Bailing-Out Republican Socialism

The decade-long saga of the Western Area Water Supply is coming to a head as SB 2196 extends the boondoggle even more.

For a background on this issue, check out our two compilations on the history.

The long saga of the Western Area Water Supply Authority has once again popped up at the 2023 with requests of loan and interest forgiveness, bailouts, and even more credit extended.

Senate Bill 2196 seeks to do many things.

Section 1 says that if WAWSA can’t make its payments, the State Water Commission will make the payments.

Section 6 allows current loans to be consolidated and refinanced out the year 2053:

Section 7 asks for interest payments to be forgiven:

These provisions add to the actions taken in previous session to prop-up and bailout this program.

Here is my testimony on SB 2196, and you can watch the video of the entire hearing above.

Remember that in 2017, the legislature tried to create a new Water Extraction Tax, to apply to private water sales, in order to subsidize WAWSA and make it easier to cover their loans.

North Dakota's Watchdog Update
House Passes Tax On Private Frack Water Suppliers
In a move that defies all campaign promises, House Republicans voted to impose a newly invented tax on private businesses that provide water for the oil industry to frack oil. Why? Because the Republican's own socialist frack water supplier is hurting due to a poorly designed business model that did not factor in economic changes and challenges…
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Back in 2013, the legislature tried to create Economic Exclusionary Zone to prevent private competition with WAWS.

North Dakota's Watchdog Update
WAWS: The Monster The Legislature Created And Now Must Tame
“Government should only do what the private sector cannot or will not.” In 2011, the North Dakota Legislature approved the creation of a water project commonly known as WAWS (the official name is Western Area Water Supply Authority). The concept behind WAWS was very well intended: create a rural water system that would provide infrastructure and water to communities in western North Dakota and pay for the system by selling water to the oil industry for fraking purposes…
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At some point, this out of control government program has to stop and taxpayers need to get something out of any bailout or forgiveness.

But according to the fiscal note for SB 2196, all the taxpayers will get is more debt:

With so many new legislators who don’t know the full history, this situation could get worse before it gets better.