Dalrymple talks up state on CNBC show
North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple touted the state's economy during an appearance Tuesday morning on CNBC's "Squawk Box" TV program.
Squawk Box co-anchor Becky Quick asked Dalrymple on the show to explain North Dakota's 7 percent jump in Gross Domestic Product in 2010, which stands in stark contrast to more dire economic conditions in other states.
Dalrymple credited the state's job creation efforts that he was involved in beginning in 2000 when he was lieutenant governor under former Gov. John Hoeven. Dalrymple said North Dakota has increased employment statewide by about 15 percent since 2000, while the nation has lost about 2 percent of its jobs during the same period.
"It's about job creation," Dalrymple said during his response. "The nation as a whole seems to be talking like it's a new idea, but we've been working at it for years."
Jeff Zent, communications director for the governor's office, said Dalrymple's cable TV appearance was just the latest in a long line of national and local stories or interviews centered on the state's strong economic performance.
"North Dakota is in a position unlike most other states," Zent said. "The state's economy is outperforming most other states. That has generated quite a bit of media attention."
The state's booming oil activity was also highlighted on the cable program. Guest host David Gerstenhaber asked Dalrymple how the state has managed to triple its daily oil production and if the state will be able to sustain its oil production.
"The play that we have in North Dakota right now in the Bakken formation is definitely not short term," Dalrymple responded. "It is a major new discovery, the largest reserves of oil and gas now in the United States. ... Production is rising daily, and we are currently now the second largest state in land drilling behind Texas. So we think it's a long play, and one that is going to be very significant to the United States."
Dalrymple said that horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques have yielded a success rate of "about 98 percent" of new wells drilled in the Bakken, adding that "it's really almost more like mining for oil than drilling for oil."
When asked if labor, housing or infrastructure challenges in oil producing areas would slow the state's rate of growth, he said he believes the state "can keep up with it." Dalrymple mentioned the "several hundred millions of dollars" invested in western North Dakota during the most recent state legislative session as evidence.
"It's a relatively sparsely populated area of the country," Dalrymple said on the show. "It does have a huge impact, but our strategy is to stay ahead of the pace of development rather than slow it down."
When asked about flooding in the state, Dalrymple mentioned the dramatic flooding experienced in parts of the state this year, including the devastation in Minot, calling it "kind of apocalyptic."
"We will, of course, get through it, and we will move on, and it will not slow our state development down, but it's a tremendous hardship on a lot of people," Dalrymple said on the show.
Despite the widespread destruction and loss of economic activity from closed businesses and the suspension of this year's state fair in Minot, Dalrymple said on the program that the natural disaster may not have that sharp of an impact on the state's economy or GDP.
"It's funny about disasters," Dalrymple said. "You would think it would have a big impact on GDP, but actually, as you know, it stimulates construction and recovery spending, and when all is said and done, you know, it probably will have less impact on our state economy than you might think. But that doesn't measure, you know, the impact on an individual community or on people's lives, which is, you know, very serious."
Ryan Schuster is a reporter at the Grand Forks Herald,
which is owned by
Forum Communications Co.