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Western ND’s positives outweigh its problems

North Dakota isn’t short of stories or commentary on its oil industry and a piece over the weekend doubted the total value of the industry. Don’t let the naysayers ruin what is a good thing.

I moved to North Dakota after living through the economic downturn in Utah and I’ll tell you what — a whole lot of traffic beats a whole lot of unemployment.

Western North Dakota is building new schools and new roads to meet a growing population, one that is choosing North Dakota as their new home.

By bringing new people to the area, the industry is helping to turn around school districts that were near total closure while surging tax revenues on oil production provide new roads, more for education, and funds that will benefit the state for a lifetime.

It can be easy to forget what was the depopulation of the northern plains and decades of losing local stores, cafes and family farms. However, because of the oil industry, longtime businesses in North Dakota are no longer operating only to survive. Instead, they are thriving across the state because of the energy industry.

It is hard to tell you about my true benefit from North Dakota’s energy industry. It is more than money and a job. It’s about new opportunity and pride in providing for my family. Thank you North Dakota for sharing your prosperity with so many.

Joe Stern,