Local Anchor: Clinton Presidency ‘Should Freak People Out,’ Will Hurt North Dakota Economy by Targeting Fracking

May 20, 2016

The host of a local North Dakota news show told viewers Friday that the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency "should freak people out" because she will badly damage the state’s economy by going after fracking, which will hurt the oil and gas industry and cost jobs.

Chris Berg, the anchor of 6:30 Point of View, a show on CBS affiliate KXJB Valley News Live, discussed North Dakota’s economic struggles as Clinton’s husband, Bill, was in Fargo, North Dakota for a campaign rally.

Berg explained that the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget released a revenue report on Friday saying that the state missed its budget forecast even after a revised one was issued earlier this year.

"Bottom line, our state is not only losing jobs, it is clearly losing revenue as well ... the revenues that fund our government," Berg said.

The local anchor then turned his attention to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, arguing that her proposed policies would only make North Dakota’s economic situation worse.

"This should freak some people out if you think about what a Hillary Clinton presidency would mean for the state of North Dakota," Berg said. "Right now, for the fracking industry, the oil and gas industry generates about $17 billion a year."

Berg then showed on screen data from the Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics at North Dakota State University explaining the petroleum industry‘s economic contribution to the state. He clarified that this information is from 2013 and not completely accurate for today but is the most recent study available.

The petroleum industry has $17.7 billion in direct economic impact on North Dakota, $25.4 billion in secondary economic impact, and creates 55,137 jobs for the state in direct employment while adding another 26,403 in secondary employment, according to the data.

"Even if you cut that thing in a quarter, it’s still a lot of jobs that have direct employment and secondary employment and revenues," Berg said. "So you got to get a little bit concerned when you see the numbers coming out from the U.S. Bureau of Labor statistics today."

The host then played a clip of Clinton talking about her plan for fracking at a CNN debate from earlier in the Democratic primary.

"So by the time we get through all of my conditions, I do not think there will be many places in America where fracking will continue to take place," Clinton said in response to an audience member’s question.

"Clearly the free market, if you will, if you can consider OPEC [Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries] a free market, has driven down the price of oil, which has already impacted our economy enough," Berg said. "Then you put on more regulations per a Secretary Clinton presidency, it’s not going to bode well for the state of North Dakota’s economy and jobs."