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Gov. Doug Burgum joined President Donald Trump on Wednesday in calling for major tax reform....

    BISMARCK, N.D. - Gov. Doug Burgum joined President Donald Trump on Wednesday in calling for major tax reform to ease the burden on hardworking Americans, spur business investment and job creation and help rebuild U.S. cities and towns.

    At the Andeavor oil refinery in Mandan, Burgum was pleased to hear President Trump say he wants all of America to be inspired by the North Dakota example. The president called the state "a reminder of what can happen when we promote American jobs instead of obstructing them," and he highlighted North Dakota's lowest-in-the-nation unemployment rate.

    "North Dakota leaders have worked hard over the past 25 years to reduce individual and corporate income tax rates, pass sensible regulations and foster a business-friendly environment that stimulates investment and job creation, and we appreciate President Trump recognizing those continuing efforts," Burgum said. "We share the president's goals for tax reform: simplify the tax code, lower rates to ease the burden on middle-class families and set corporate tax rates at levels that allow U.S. businesses to better compete in the global economy, bringing back jobs and wealth from overseas. And we urge Congress to work with the administration to achieve meaningful tax reform that encourages economic growth and saves taxpayers time and money."

    Governor Burgum, First Lady Kathryn Helgaas Burgum and Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford greeted President Trump, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn after they deplaned Air Force One at the Bismarck airport, marking the commander-in-chief's first visit to North Dakota since his inauguration.

    President Trump and daughter Ivanka Trump invited the governor and first lady to ride with them in the presidential state car from the airport to the refinery. During the roughly 20-minute ride, the president and governor discussed North Dakota's drought - including Burgum's pending request for a presidential major disaster declaration - as well as tax policy, agriculture and energy, among other topics.

    The president's comments on the strength of the state's energy sector - calling it the "North Dakota energy miracle" - struck a chord with Lt. Gov. Sanford, who as Watford City's mayor witnessed how private-sector innovation unlocked the state's vast oil reserves and turned North Dakota into the nation's No. 2 oil-producing state, with a population soaring after decades of decline.

    "When crude oil prices plummeted, North Dakota producers responded by finding ways to boost efficiency and lower their costs, and they're still producing more than 1 million barrels of oil per day," Sanford said. "We need to apply that same ingenuity to tax reform so we can incentivize business growth, expand the tax base and create more jobs with higher wages."


     WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp says she needs the details of President Donald Trump's plan for overhauling the tax code before deciding whether she can support it.
     Trump pitched broad outlines of the plan during an appearance Wednesday in Heitkamp's state, North Dakota. Heitkamp flew in with the president and appeared with him at the event, during which he pressed her to support the plan. Trump promised to supply more details about the plan in the next two weeks.
     Heitkamp says in a statement that the "devil is in the details" because tax codes are complex and "we need to know what those details are." Heitkamp says she has long said she's open to working with Republicans and Democrats on a tax plan that works for her constituents.

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - President Donald Trump didn't miss a chance during a visit to a North Dakota oil refinery to remind supporters of his aid for the Dakota Access pipeline.
     Trump gave final federal approval of the $3.8 billion project to move North Dakota oil to Illinois shortly after taking office. The project had been stalled due to a lawsuit and protests by American Indian tribes and environmental groups. Trump during his speech noted the opposition but also said opponents "didn't know" why they were against the project.
     Opponents worry about the pipeline's impact on the environment and cultural sites. Greenpeace issued a statement before Trump's speech saying the pipeline battle "was and is about indigenous sovereignty and the protection of Native land and water supply."
     Trump said approving the pipeline's completion was "the right thing to do."

     BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - Hurricane Harvey has impacted the pace of negotiations between the builder of the Dakota Access oil pipeline and North Dakota regulators investigating potential violations of state rules during construction. Regulators say attorney negotiations have continued but Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners also has been busy with hurricane response. ETP is based in Dallas but has facilities on the Gulf Coast. The company dedicated about 1,000 employees to a hurricane response team.

     WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - The city of Williston has officially dedicated its $105 million wastewater treatment plant.  The facility replaces city's old lagoon system that struggled to keep up with demand as Williston's population rose with the oil boom. Construction began in 2014 and the plant became fully operational earlier this summer. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held late last week.



   (Copyright 2017 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)


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