Port: North Dakota’s reputation as a business-friendly state is sure taking a beating


MINOT, N.D. — North Dakota is a business-friendly state, and that’s been a key to our state’s recent fortunes. Over about 15 years, we’ve gone from a state with an aging, shrinking population to one that’s growing. Our state has one of the youngest populations in the nation.

But are we still business-friendly? Recent events say “no.”

Summit Carbon Solutions, a leader in the nascent carbon capture industry, which has the potential to reap huge returns for our state’s energy and agriculture economy, has come under fire by political ideologues whose latest tactic is to weave a scary fairy tale about evil foreigners owning the company.

Meanwhile, as our state grapples with a chronic workforce shortage, our state Legislature is doing everything possible to drive the LGBTQ community to other places. People identifying with that community represent about 7.1% of the population, and that’s almost certainly low. The number of people self-identifying has doubled over the last decade as the community emerges from the shadows of oppression and bigotry.

There is no reason why the people in that community couldn’t find peace and happiness and prosperity in our wonderful state, except for our ugly politics, which makes them feel persecuted and afraid. And who can blame them when we have state lawmakers and their supporters condemning them as “groomers” and “pedophiles” and worse?

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