ND Senator Kevin Cramer hosted Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon in Bismarck this week for the first installment of a new speaker series Cramer is calling “The Bully Pulpit.”
The plan behind the town hall style meetings is to host influential public and business leaders in North Dakota to hear from constituents and share their expertise in a format designed for constructive commentary and discussion. The event was held at the University of Mary and was attended by several dozen business and financial leaders.
Among those in the crowd who spoke during the meeting was ND Petroleum Council Ron Ness, who described the oil industry's current struggle to obtain capital for drilling and completion projects. Ness described the innovation occurring in the Bakken oilfields, from using natural gas to power the cloud, to re-using produced water. But as attractive as it is, he said the Bakken is under-capitalized, with currently less than half the investment required to reach its full potential. He urged Solomon and others in the banking industry to place a higher priority on investing in North Dakota's oil industry.
Click here to listen to Ness' comments.
Ness touted the state's plan to invest through the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority, which has $25 million to support grants, and $250 million to provide loans that will help commercialize innovative, clean energy solutions.
Cramer said future town halls will offer additional opportunities for North Dakotans to showcase their skills and potential. The senator met with Solomon in May to invite him to North Dakota and to discuss the financial industry, American energy and economic policy, and Cramer’s Fair Access to Banking Act, which would prevent financial service providers from discriminating against constitutionally-protected industries and law-abiding, credit worthy businesses.
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