The economy and energy independence are major talking points for President Obama.
But he has never visited North Dakota, the state with the lowest unemployment rate in the nation.
Oil and natural gas have transformed North Dakota into “America’s energy landscape,” and gives hope to the notion of the US one day becoming energy independent. But as the National Journal points out, “no clear reason exists for why the president has not visited the state.”
Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) told the National Journal that when she asked Obama if he would visit her state, he only told her that he would not come in the winter. “I think it’s really important for him to take a look,” she said.
Former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) said, “I would encourage him to go out. You’ve got to see it to believe it. It’s a big boost to our economy and also a big boost to our nation’s energy policy.”
It is easy to understand why the president did not visit the state during his first term — it is not a battleground state. North Dakota is considered a “safe republican” state, and would therefore offer him no political benefits.
Still, the relatively small state is now the second highest oil-producing state in the country. Texas is number one.
North Dakota produced more than 800,000 barrels of oil each day in June. That is “roughly 10 percent of the country’s overall daily oil production and an all-time record for the state.”
The oil boom in the state has created many jobs, which has led to the state having the lowest unemployment rate in the country.
Employment and energy independence continue to be frequent topics during Obama’s speeches. Earlier this summer, the president said America would “produce more of our own oil than we buy from abroad for the first time in nearly 20 years.” He also continues to talk about the job market.
So why hasn’t he visited North Dakota to learn about the oil boom and thriving economy?
Leaders from Germany, Turkey, Dubai, and other countries have all travelled to the state to learn about the growing oil industry.
When will President Obama?