BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — The state’s Democratic NPL visited the studio for a political round table discussion. KX New’s Adrienne Oglesby facilitated the discussion and covered a number of topics.

This evening, we focused on the challenges facing the oil and gas industry in North Dakota, and the rising cost of living that grips North Dakotan communities. In the seats were Executive Director of the Democratic NPL Cheryl Biller, and the organization’s treasurer Patrick Hart.

This week’s conversation started by addressing the issue hitting the pockets of nearly every person with a driver’s license in our nation.

Gas is around $4.20 at just about every local pump, but what has caused this sudden spike? Some blame crude oil, but Ron Ness and Doug Burgum say otherwise, and point their fingers toward ‘red tape’ laid out by the Biden administration.

However, Democratic NPL leaders stated that this is not the case.

“I wouldn’t say that’s necessarily all true,” stated Hart. “When I look at the gas prices, I really see the war in Ukraine, and the sanctions on Russia shutting off a major supplier in the oil trade affecting those prices. The other thing you have to take into consideration, too, is that as gas prices go up and oil prices go up, we have a major economic player out in the Bakken — which actually helps the North Dakota economy. It hurts us a little bit in the pocketbook, but I think statewide, it really helps us out.”

Of course, gas prices aren’t the only things rising in cost — however, Biller says there are so many other issues fueling the rise in inflation.

“With regard to inflation,” she stated, “all that occurred after, or as a result of the ongoing wars in Afghanistan, and the housing crisis that has been contributed to by the Republican administration.”

She also states that interest rates are in need of a raise.

“In order to keep inflation from going up,” Biller explained, “the Biden administration has actually done a fantastic job of leveling that off and keeping us from going into a recession. There was no economist who thought that we were going to get out of the previous economically challenging times without a recession, and yet the Biden administration has done so.”

Affordable healthcare is a big concern for Democrats, and the lowering costs on that end are undoubtedly a benefit. However, while it seems healthcare costs are down right now, prices everywhere else appear to be increasing.

“Health care is my number one issue when it comes to politics,” Biller stated. “As a parent of two children, a wife, and a small business owner, health care has been a tough thing to find when I look at my interactions with the insurance companies and the hospitals. Healthcare does need to be reformed, and I think over the past 10 or 12 years, Obamacare has helped that. Right now, we’re actually in open enrollment, and it’s never been easier to find a plan that works for you on the healthcare exchange.”

After the cycle from this round table with the Democratic NPL, our state’s NDGOP will take the seats next with Adrienne.