The week that was

WORK IS UNDER WAY It’s been a long time coming, but work is under way on the Three Affiliated Tribes’ refinery project near Makoti. Site preparation work has begun for construction of the transload facililty, the first phase of the refinery. The transload facility is scheduled to be completed by June. The entire refinery project is expected to cost approximately $450 million. The facility would refine crude oil from the Bakken formation into diesel fuel, propane and other products. The project has been in the works for roughly a decade as it wound its way through a long series of federal permits and other processes. We’re glad to finally see actual work being done at the site.

TORONTO MAYOR Seriously, how is this guy still in office? Embattled Toronto Mayor Rob Ford was stripped of some of his authority last week, but he still refuses to resign amid his admissions of drug and alcohol abuse and other questionable behavior. Late last week, he used some rather crude language on live television to describe his physical relationship with his wife, further angering his critics. Members of Toronto’s City Council voted 39-3 last week to strip Ford of some authority, and the council previously tried to convince Ford to take a leave of absence to address his personal problems. So far, the boisterous Ford has refused. He obviously has personal issues to resolve, and there’s no way he can be an effective mayor at this point. For the sake of the city, let’s hope Ford comes to his senses and resigns.

NO SURPRISE The state Industrial Commission announced last week that North Dakota is nearing another milestone in oil production: Producing a million barrels of oil per day. September’s production reached 931,940 barrels a day, and officials expect October’s total to increase. The industry is on pace to break last year’s record production of 243.1 million barrels. Through September of this year, total production was at 226 million barrels. The state continues to set records monthly and yearly, and officials see no end to that trend.