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Roger Timm , Published February 06 2010

Pie-in-sky ideas are job killers

An op-ed piece by Mark Proulx (Feb. 2) stated that North Dakota could create 11,000 “new” jobs, if only our state would close down all our oil and natural gas production and drive the evil coal companies from the Northland. Of course, that would lose more than 50,000 high-paying jobs immediately, wipe out 90 percent of our electricity generation and put North Dakota’s state budget in the same “exalted” position as Minnesota, California and South Carolina. In other words, North Dakota would be broke.

Perhaps Proulx, a youth minister, hasn’t been reading the state’s newspapers. North Dakota has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation. It has the highest per capita budget surplus and fastest-growing economy in the U.S. And, in the last session, Gov. John Hoeven and the Legislature enacted the largest property tax cut in our country. North Dakota is a leader not only in oil, gas, and coal production, but also in wind and ethanol energy generation.

That’s not too bad a record for a “backward” state held hostage by evil oil and coal companies and greedy entrepreneurs. The only jobs Proulx’s pie-in-the-sky ideas would create would be in China and India.