I have expressed my concerns about the North Dakota oil patch before. My fear has been, and continues to be, that the North Dakota we know and love is for sale. There is no going back now though – the course has been set.
The good news, if you can call it good news, is that while we may be easy, we are not cheap. Case-in-point – the state budget surplus which is now 1.6 billion. This incredible amount of money sits in the state’s coffers for primarily one reason – oil. With every single day the coffers grow and at this point there is no end in sight where this money train is concerned. It is a challenging dilemma. The only real course of action left at this point is to decide how to use the benefit from the oil to help balance the detriment.
There needs to be a comprehensive strategic plan for the state – a plan that addresses the lacking infrastructure, puts primacy on safety and well-being, improves overall quality of life across the state, and invests in the intellectual capital in the state. We have the money to address all of these things – to re-envision North Dakota with an eye on holding on to the things we value most.
It’s time to start planning how we are going to invest the billions we will receive from the oil patch. It is time to actively be the masters of North Dakota’s future, otherwise no amount of money will be enough compensation for what we have given up.
Day one thousand one hundred and seventy-one of the new forty – obla di obla da