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Don Rapske, Pelican Rapids, Minn., Published May 27 2013

Letter: North Dakota: Build a refinery

OK, North Dakota, step up to the plate and build us an oil refinery. You have the oil and you have a huge surplus in your state coffers, don’t you? Come on, rescue us from the rich oil barons who control the oil prices in this country.

What? You say North Dakota doesn’t believe in such things? After all, North Dakota is considered a conservative Republican state that believes government should get out of our lives. Right?

But wait, doesn’t North Dakota own a state mill and elevator in Grand Forks? And, how about the state-owned and -operated Bank of North Dakota in Bismarck? Wasn’t current Republican Sen. John Hoeven president of this bank for a number of years? Somewhat odd, I’d say.

We write this somewhat in jest, but we really do need another refinery in this country, and North Dakota would be an ideal location to build such an expensive project. The recent spike in gas prices was brought on by a few refineries deciding to close for maintenance or other problems at the same time. Oil refinery competition is obviously lacking.

If I remember from my small-town education at a Dresden, N.D., grade school, the state mill and the North Dakota state bank came about because the large corporate conglomerates out east refused to build in small-state North Dakota, so the small-state North Dakotans took the bull by the horns and built their own mill and bank. It worked – the state mill and state bank have been successful and in business for many long years.