Building the right climate for energy development can produce remarkable results.
Delayed energy projects and regulatory hurdles to domestic oil production not only cost the United States economy billions of dollars and millions of jobs, but they also stand in the way of an elusive goal: true American energy security.
I believe, however, that our nation is within striking range of that goal and, with the right approach, can achieve it within five to seven years. We have the resources and technology to produce more energy than we consume and break our long-standing dependence on foreign sources of oil. All we need is the will.
In fact, there’s a path to follow, one that North Dakota blazed over the last decade by building a comprehensive energy plan we called Empower North Dakota. We worked to create a business environment that encouraged energy companies across all industry sectors to invest in our state. We created the kind of legal, tax, and regulatory certainty that attracted capital, expertise, and jobs.
North Dakota’s oil industry is just one example of how this building the right climate for energy development can produce remarkable results. Just 10 years ago, oil companies had left or were leaving our state’s oil patch, the Bakken formation, for a host of reasons: inadequate technology, an aging workforce, lack of transportation infrastructure, and insufficient data about our oil reserves. Industry leaders decided they had better places to invest shareholder dollars and earn a return.
But North Dakotans decided to turn this situation around. Our measures included:
• Creating a pro-growth tax environment that invited investment
• Updating geological studies of the Bakken oil formation
• Establishing an oil and gas research fund, paid for by the industry
• Improving infrastructure
• Creating a pipeline authority to expand transport capacity, and
• Establishing a petroleum safety and technology center at Williston State College to train skilled workers.
These steps improved the business environment and drew new technologies and billions of dollars of investment capital to the Williston Basin, which unleashed the potential of North Dakota’s oil patch.
Since 2006, we have surpassed Alaska, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and California in oil production to become the second largest oil-producing state in the nation, trailing only Texas. In 2012, North Dakota produced more than 245 million barrels of oil and provided nearly 11 percent of all U.S. output.
Notably, North Dakota’s policies weren’t about government spending for its own sake. They were about creating an environment for private investment. That approach generated revenues for the state, broadened the economic base, and actually enabled us to reduce taxes several times over the past decade.
SINCE COMING to Washington, I have advanced similar initiatives in the U.S. Senate, measures that will provide the energy industry with the certainty and business environment it needs to thrive. For example, the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act (DEJA), which I introduced this summer with 29 co-sponsors, is a package of 13 diverse energy bills addressing both traditional and renewable development.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?