"Washington Could Learn a Lot From North Dakota," Says U.S. - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

"Washington Could Learn a Lot From North Dakota," Says U.S. Chamber of Commerce President

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"Washington could learn a lot from North Dakota."  That's the takeaway of one high-profile visitor to the State. 

It's been years since Thomas Donohue, President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, visited North Dakota.  However, what he's seen and heard convinces him bipartisan, public-private sector, responsible energy policy is possible.  It's a message he wants Washington to take to heart. 

"North Dakota is setting a tone and an approach that is fundamental to solving America's problems, and I wanted to see first hand what's going on here. . . .  Democrats and Republicans in this State have figured out how to get together and find consensus," says Donohue.  "We sort of would like to do that a little better in Washington."

While the U.S. Chamber says all eyes should be on North Dakota, the State's Public Service Commission Chair, Brian Kalk, emphasizes North Dakota needs to keep in mind its role in the national -- and global -- energy economy.  "Understand North Dakota lives in a much larger world," says Kalk.  "Be aware of what's going on in other states.  Be aware of what's going on around the country.  Keep doing what we're doing, but be able to understand how we're going to be playing in a much larger energy world, a much larger trade world."

In fact, playing a larger, more active energy role is how Chamber President Donohue says America's overall budget problems will ultimately, be solved.  "While we look at our national deficits and our national debt, we have to, we've been playing around with two buckets -- one bucket that has cost-reductions, the other bucket that has tax increases.  Pretty hard to get there with these big numbers.  Add a third bucket.  It's energy."

The Chamber President  emphasizes all forms of energy -- oil, gas, coal, nuclear and green -- need to be part of the mix going forward.

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