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Associated Press, Published February 28 2013

Oil-rich ND 'well-positioned' for federal cuts

BISMARCK — North Dakota's top budget official says the oil-rich state is “very well-positioned” to weather looming federal spending cuts — if it has to do so.

Budget director Pam Sharp says North Dakota might lose about $20 million in federal funding in fiscal 2013 if President Barack Obama and Republican lawmakers don't reach an agreement by Friday.

Oil has helped North Dakota bank about $1.6 billion in reserves. Sharp says the state is collecting more than $200 million monthly in gross oil revenue alone. That's about 10 times the amount the state could lose this year if the cuts kick in.

Sharp says the lost federal funds “wouldn't be that difficult to deal with.” But she says the Legislature would have to make the decision to make up the shortfall.