NDPeople.org Don’t Want What’s Right For ND’s Economy

A reader emailed me a link to this new website from ND People. There aren’t a lot of details about the group on the website (aside from the fact that it was designed by someone going under the handle “geeksmakemehot”, which is totally professional), but the address/phone number information on the contact page are the same as those for the ND Progressives…so either that group has changed its name or they’ve created some sort of subsidiary organization.
I’d say it’s probably the former given that the old ND Progressives domain name doesn’t load any more.
Anyway, the group is starting a radio ad campaign against Fargo Republican Rick Berg who proposed a tax benefit for oil companies in March of 2005.
You can listen to their ad by clicking here. It’s about what you’d expect. Rick Berg is a bad guy because he wanted to encourage growth in North Dakota’s oil industry by giving oil companies a tax benefit.
But Berg’s tax benefit for the oil industry never became law. After the House passed it the Senate made some modifications and then changed it to a study and that’s as far as it has gotten. According to ND People that’s because the majority Republicans realized “how it would look to give oil companies a tax break while the price of crude oil shot up over $50/barrel.” In reality, the high price of oil made the tax cuts unnecessary. What Berg was trying to do is encourage growth in North Dakota’s economy, especially in the western part of the state where the oil resources are. When gas prices shot up the oil companies didn’t need tax breaks as an incentive to expand oil production in North Dakota.
Really, though, one has to wonder why any group of North Dakotans would be opposed to the oil industry expanding production in North Dakota. Throughout the nation the oil industry has been re-investing the “windfall profits” liberals are always complaining about into places like North Dakota in order to expand domestic production of oil to keep up with demand. That re-investment by the oil industry here in North Dakota has resulted in more jobs and increased tax revenue, which in turn is one of the major factors behind this state’s half a billion dollar budget surplus.
ND People are trying to paint Berg as greedy and insensitive to North Dakotans paying high gas prices, but in reality Berg had North Dakotan’s best interests at heart. As I’ve just indicated, a resurgent oil industry in North Dakota is a boon for the whole state. Berg’s tax benefit, had it been passed, would have been helpful in that resurgence.
As far as I’m concerned, I still think they should pass it to encourage the oil industry to keep this economic boom in North Dakota going.