Will we squander our energy windfall?

Steven Malanga on conservative website Real Clear Politics looks at how states like Texas and North Dakota have handled oil boom (“Will States Squander Their Energy Windfall?“). He praises North Dakota with using their funds wisely:

The state’s leaders have invested prudently in their university system. They’ve kept prices low, required top educators to get into the classroom and teach, and upgraded research facilities. One result is that the state system is attracting both more research grants and more out-of-state students, who now make up more than half the 14,000-student system. State officials credit college students who stay after graduation, in a state with a 1.5 percent unemployment rate, with helping to boost population growth.

While most Americans experience only suffering when gas prices rise, some states see rising oil prices turn into a rush of money, jobs, and tax revenue. The question is how state governments respond. In the 1970s and 1980s Texas invested in the high-tech firms that are at the heart of the state’s growth today. Will future Texans look back on today and see it as similar wise investment or an opportunity missed?


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