Quite a list of energy-related policy and spending initiatives passed into law by the just-completed session of the North Dakota Legislature, acting on a raft of proposals made by Governor John Hoeven.
One isn’t surprised to see renewable and alternative fuels get a boost; that’s more or less SOP these days, especially in ag states. And these do seem to be major incentives:
But what’s especially impressive is the whole-scale support for the traditional sources of energy — coal, oil and natural gas — without which this nation’s economy grinds to a halt. To wit:
The Legislature also authorized the Governor to negotiate a tax-sharing and regulatory agreement to encourage oil development on the potentially energy-rich Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, bringing a measure of legal confidence for investors there.
At a time when so many states and local governments (like Boston, for example) are shortsightedly discouraging energy development, it’s a remarkably positive story coming out of North Dakota. And, it’s worth noting that these spending initiatives were made by possible by a healthy state budget, thanks in great part to oil revenues.
North Dakota, by the way, with an unemployment rate of 4 percent is the only state to have increased its number of manufacturing jobs since 1990. A welcoming attitude toward energy development is surely one reason why.
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