Rancher Donny Nelson doesn't necessarily trust the oil companies who are drilling on his land. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post)

I spoke to Donny Nelson again and he had another news item that is a sign of the times there. A company called Saddle Butte Pipelines wants to build 700 million barrels of storage for oil in Hawkeye Valley Township near Nelson’s ranch. (Saddle Butte’s top executives are veterans of Koch Industries and another pipeline venture called Boardwalk Pipeline Partners.)

The first and biggest of the tanks would be 150 feet in diameter and 48 feet high and hold 150 million barrels. The smallest would be 90 feet in diameter and 48 feet high and hold 50 million barrels. Pipelines would run in and out of the tanks and trucks could load and unload oil there.

Meanwhile, a developer wants to put 98 new houses on a 20-acre piece of property. That’s not too crowded compared to many suburbs, but Hawkeye Valley Township has one acre zoning for non-farm residential use.