Interior Sec. Jewell to tour North Dakota

Aug. 5, 2013 at 7:20 AM

WASHINGTON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Interior Department said Secretary Sally Jewell will visit active drilling sites when she meets with state officials in North Dakota.

The department said the secretary will meet Tuesday with state Sens. John Hoeven, a Republican, and his Democratic counterpart, Heidi Heitkamp, during tours of oil operations in the state. The tour, Jewell's first, is planned as a reinforcement of President Obama's energy policies.

The North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources in its most recent update for July said May oil production reached an all-time high of 810,129 barrels per day. Natural gas production posted similar gains with an all-time high of 899,977 cubic feet per day.

"Jewell will travel to North Dakota to highlight steps the Obama administration is taking to create jobs, decrease our dependence on foreign oil, cut carbon pollution, and grow our economy as part of an all-of-the-above American-made energy strategy," the department said Friday.

Jewell is scheduled to tour oil and gas operations in the state during her tour to Williston, N.D. The department said she'd inspect facilities designed to cut back on pollution tied to oil production in the state.

Hoeven is a vocal supporter of the planned Keystone XL oil pipeline. Obama said he'd weight the project against its environmental footprint.

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