North Dakota Governor John Hoeven is strongly disputing the contents of a National Geographic article that paints the Northern Plains state in a less-than-flattering light.
The article entitled “The Emptied Prairie” talks about how so many towns have been abandoned because of tough times. But in a letter to the editor of the National Geographic, Hoeven points to how biofuels and wind energy are helping North Dakota’s future:
January 14, 2008
Mr. Chris Johns
National Geographic Magazine
PO Box 98199
Washington, D.C. 20090-98199
Dear Mr. Johns:
The recent article about North Dakota in the January 2008 issue of National Geographic was way off the mark. To give the magazine’s readers a more accurate picture of our state, I’ve asked our Commerce Commissioner and Tourism Director to contact your editors and invite you back to cover what you left out – the fact that North Dakota is a growing 21st Century state with a bright future….
…new ethanol and biodiesel facilities are transforming rural communities like Richardton, Underwood, Hankinson, Casselton, and Velva. Just a few years ago, North Dakota produced less than 40 million gallons of ethanol a year. With these new facilities, we will produce half a billion gallons. Your article also makes mention of the “moan of the wind” on the prairie, but that same wind is on its way to producing nearly 1000 megawatts of clean renewable energy on commercial wind farms across North Dakota.
Hoeven suggests National Geographic editors need to look at the whole picture… a picture in North Dakota that definitely includes renewable fuels.