$150K study could help Minn. benefit from ND oil

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 1, 2014 at 12:18 pm •  Published: April 1, 2014
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A proposed $150,000 study would examine how Minnesota could leverage the North Dakota oil boom for its own benefit.

The research would not focus "just on the effects (of the boom), but also how we can possibly benefit and position ourselves to take advantage of that," said Sen. Kent Eken, DFL-Twin Valley, sponsor of the bill outlining the report.

State Senate Tax Committee Chairman Rod Skoe, DFL-Clearbrook, laid over Eken's proposal for possible inclusion in a larger tax bill that could be voted on later during the session.

Some Minnesota businesses already are benefiting from North Dakota's hot economy. Some companies are helping expand local infrastructure. Others are selling energy-industry items. Still more are providing drilling and safety equipment.

Among the negatives the boom yields is increased worry about rail safety, particularly since several trains carrying crude oil travel through Minnesota. Rep. Frank Hornstein, DFL-Minneapolis, brought up that concern during a House transportation panel hearing earlier this month.

Derailments by trains carrying crude oil occurred last year in North Dakota and Quebec.

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