Energy impacts

Mary Ann Armbrust, Fargo

School is starting across the region and all signs point to increased enrollment in most school districts in the region.

Behind enlarging enrollments is the state’s healthy economy, driven largely by the rapid growth in North Dakota’s energy production. Everywhere in the state, young adults are finding great careers surrounding the energy industry, such as construction, manufacturing and within the energy industry itself. For the first time in generations, our state has fantastic opportunities for young adults.

Though the impact in the Red River Valley is hard to quantify, we all know of friends and family members whose work is tied to the energy industry. They might commute weekly to sites in the Bakken or work at one of the many businesses providing goods and services destined for the Bakken. Importantly, their work brings new dollars, more career options, and new families to our communities.

Their young families are filling our schools while energy taxes have increased education funding and provided tax relief to property owners. In fact, dramatic increases in oil production and extraction taxes, now an astounding 42 percent of all state revenue, allowed our legislature to provide an additional $447 million to local schools for this biennium, providing another property tax buy-down year for most homeowners in North Dakota.

The energy boom affects every taxpayer, parent, and worker within North Dakota. With it, our overall economy is improved, making our state an exceptional place to start young families.