BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) _ North Dakota's top oil regulator says increased federal regulations and competition from other oil plays could drastically cut production in the state's oil patch.
State Mineral Resources Director Lynn Helms told the North Dakota House Appropriations Committee that the state's oil industry is healthy. But he says ``it's not all roses and sunshine.''
Helms appealed to lawmakers to keep a $1 million fund available to challenge the federal government if it imposes additional hydraulic fracturing regulations. Helms says the state should have the authority to set its own regulations when it comes to oil drilling.
Mitch Vance of Bismarck says he doesn't think the state should be using taxpayer money to fund lawsuits against the federal government. He says oil companies should fund such lawsuits.