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LETTER: Brunner to run for state land office

To the Editor:

The Office of School and Public Lands is often referred to as the state land office because it is responsible for managing more than 750,000 acres of South Dakota trust lands. However, the oil and gas division has the most potential for future growth. The office manages 5.2 million acres of state-owned mineral rights. These minerals were set aside, in addition to the land, to benefit our education system and other state institutions.

While working in the Office of School and Public Lands as deputy commissioner, I have witnessed the positive impacts the oil and gas industry can have on our education system.

The Office of School and Public Lands generates roughly $10 million annually for education — $4 million is from the current oil and gas leases. In other words, growing our state’s oil and gas industry will increase royalty payments, therefore increasing investments in education.

If I am elected commissioner for school and public lands, I will work to promote policies that encourage the development of our oil and gas industry.

Not only does this industry benefit our education system, it creates good paying jobs.

In order to keep this industry growing and thriving in South Dakota, we must push back on attempts at the federal level to impose onerous taxes and regulations on oil and gas. Additional taxes will cripple this industry and will mean fewer jobs, less investment in education, and slower economic growth in South Dakota. The people of South Dakota know what’s best for our state, not politicians in Washington.