NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) —The North Dakota State Investment Board is continuing to invest our tax dollars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day has caused President Joe Biden and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to accuse the Saudi Kingdom of hurting the global economy and aiding Russia by propping up the price of oil.
U.S lawmakers are considering various options to punish Saudi Arabia, including suspending arms sales, pulling out American troops, and suing Saudi Arabia for price-fixing.
The State Investment Board is sending our Legacy Fund dollars to Saudi Arabia, something they have been doing since we began our investigation two years ago.
In our ongoing investigation KX News has obtained new documents showing that the State Investment Board continues to invest our tax dollars in both the Saudi government and its government-owned oil company.
KX News’ request for international positions in the Legacy Fund shows that $342,238.55 is invested in the Saudi International Bond and $2,466,536.53 is invested in Saudi Arabian Oil Co.
Fargo attorney Luke Heck has been calling out our state’s investments in Saudi Arabia since he started investigating the Legacy Fund two-and-a-half years ago.
“It’s absurd that we’re invested in the Saudia Arabian holdings. Why are we invested in our competitor’s oil and gas in the first place, let alone frankly an adversary’s oil and gas at this juncture? I mean they are helping Russia,” explained Fargo attorney Luke Heck.
Three months ago, prior to President Joe Biden’s trip to Saudi Arabia, KX News exposed that the SIB has invested millions of dollars in Saudi Arabia and other foreign competitors who directly compete with our own producers right here in North Dakota.
But, in the last three meetings of the SIB, this issue has not even been discussed.
“Instead of making their own independent decisions, the elected officials as it pertains to the Saudi Arabian investments, are likely relying on the money managers. Secondly, I get a sense that there is not a whole lot of need for, or a fire in their belly as though there is concern that they’re not going to get re-elected, or that they’re not going to have a seat at the table the next investment board meeting if they don’t get out of Saudia Arabia,” explained Heck
Many of our viewers will remember when Russia invaded Ukraine our investigation exposed that the State Investment Board had invested millions of our tax dollars in Vladimir Putin’s government bonds and in Gazprom, its government-owned oil company.
The information we uncovered led SIB Chair Lt. Governor Sanford to convene a special meeting to divest our tax dollars from that country.
Heck questions whether options are being considered by SIB as it prepares for its meeting on October 28.
“The State Investment Board is aware that they have north of $2 million dollars in Saudi Arabian oil alone. They’re aware, I would sure as heck hope they’re aware of Saudi Arabia cutting production by 2 million barrels and playing footsy with Russia,” said Heck.
We know where the public stands on investing the legacy fund internationally from a survey of likely voters during the last legislative session.
By a seven-to-one margin, voters said they wanted the legacy fund to be invested within North Dakota rather than outside the state or internationally.
KX News has reached out several times over the last two and a half years about the ongoing investments in Saudi Arabia as well as other foreign adversaries. And we will continue to do so.