Watford City Senator Dale Patten was presented with the ND Petroleum Council's Outstanding Public Service Award during the NDPC annual meeting this week at the Rough Rider Center in Watford City.
Patten has served in the North Dakota Senate since 2019, initially representing District 39, which covered a large area from McKenzie County all the way to Bowman County in the southwestern corner of the state. Redistricting based on the 2020 census shrunk its boundaries, and it is now District 26.
Patten is chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and is a member of the Finance and Taxation Committee. He also serves as co-chair of the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority, is a member of the state's Tax Relief Task Force, and serves on several other state boards and committees. Patten also previously served as a McKenzie County Commissioner from 2000 to 2012.
In presenting the award, NDPC President Ron Ness joked about Patten's extensive list of responsibilities after retiring from the banking industry in 2017.
"It appears that Dale has failed miserably at retirement," Ness quipped, "but the reality is that his leadership skills and passion for good policy are still needed in this community and the state of North Dakota and instead of fading into the sunset, he has stepped forward to lead."
Ness cited Patten's "spectacular" record of success after just six years in the legislature. Patten sponsored legislation creating a remote gas capture tax credit, the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority, the royalty ombudsman program, elimination of the oil tax trigger and several others.
In accepting the award, Patten said North Dakota's future didn't look all that bright in the 1980s and 1990s, but that changed with the explosive growth of the oil industry in the early 2000s.
"You have actually made a difference in every person in North Dakota's lives, whether that's road infrastructure, whether it's water infrastructure, whether it's education funding, whether it's property and income tax relief," Patten said. "This all comes back to the oil industry, and you people here have done a great job."
WDEA also recognized Senator Patten for his legislative leadership at its annual meeting in 2021. Click here to read the article.
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