North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum addressed the North Dakota Legislature yesterday to give his annual State of the State address. His speech highlighted the progress that his administration has made to reduce taxes, ensure a strong budget, and prioritize the state’s abundant energy resources. Overall, the speech touted the importance of the oil and gas industry to the state, its residents, and the nation who benefits greatly from the energy that is extracted from the Rough Rider State.
Governor Burgum kicked off his speech with the fact that the “spectacular geologic history led directly to the rich deposits that gave us our abundant oil, gas and coal resources.” As a result, thousands of North Dakotans are employed in the sector, which helps provide strong financial security for thousands of residents, particularly those that work in the Bakken Formation. This includes rig workers, pipeline operators, and those who indirectly benefit from the economic activity.
The abundant oil and gas resources are also lifting the state budget. Governor Burgum talked at length about an historic opportunity before the legislature due to strong oil production and revenue that has flowed to the general fund. The revenue has exceeded forecasts by 23 percent and is projected to be the second-highest in state history, a fact that was highlighted by GAIN in 2022. Energy production has produced billions of dollars in tax revenue that supports the state, tribal nations, counties, cities, townships, school districts, hospitals, parks and airports through a variety of funds.
Further, the energy produced within the boundaries of North Dakota does not stay local, it has a global impact. Governor Burgum notes, “selling more clean U.S. energy to our friends and allies, versus forcing them to buy dirty energy from our adversaries, is the single most powerful change the U.S. could make today to drive American strength up and enhance global stability.”
The Governor’s point is correct, which is why the Biden administration should take notice and support greater private sector investments into the state’s oil and gas sector to promote American energy abroad.
In addition to promoting a more robust fossil fuels sector, he also emphasized the state’s progress in developing clean energy resources such as wind, solar, and biogas. In the past year, wind generation in the state increased by 25 percent, and there is now over 1,000 megawatts of installed solar capacity. Governor Burgum also highlighted the state’s investments in research and development of advanced energy technologies, such as carbon capture, utilization, and storage, which have helped to position North Dakota as a leader in the clean energy sector.
Overall, Governor Burgum’s address demonstrated the state’s commitment to a diverse energy portfolio and its efforts to balance the development of traditional and clean energy sources. The state’s investments in advanced energy technologies and partnerships with private industry and other governments will help to drive innovation and growth in the sector.