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April 29, 2014

North Dakota State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt Hosts General (Ret.) David Petraeus and Community Leaders in Williston

Bismarck, ND, April 29, 2014 – North Dakota State Treasurer Kelly Schmidt brought community and civic leaders from across North Dakota’s oil producing counties together today for a town hall discussion with General (Ret.) David Petraeus, which examined key issues facing North Dakotans. 

General (Ret.) Petraeus is Chairman of the KKR Global Institute, which is associated with several investments in the Bakken. General Petraeus previously served for over 37 years in the U.S. military, including as commander of coalition forces in Iraq, commander of coalition forces in Afghanistan, and overall U.S. commander in the Middle East. The meeting was held at The Ridge, one of Williston’s first master planned communities.

“I’m glad we had the opportunity to have an important dialogue about a range of issues. We are at the epicenter of the North American energy revolution, which has brought us enormous benefits but also our own unique set of challenges too.  We are pleased to welcome a great American leader, General Petraeus, so that he can see and hear firsthand from North Dakotans about what is happening in our great state,” Treasurer Kelly Schmidt said.

The meeting included community leaders from Stark, Williams and McKenzie Counties, including Brad Bekkedahl, Vice-President Williston City Commission, Senate Majority Leader, Rich Wardner and Vicky Steiner, Executive Director of the ND Association of Oil and Gas Producing Counties, the mayors of both Williston and Watford City, and representatives from public safety, emergency services and public education. The group touched on a range of issues, including housing, infrastructure and public safety.   

General Petraeus stated: “The energy revolution that North Dakotans are leading has implications for the entire world—from right here in North Dakota to the Midwest to Eurasia. I am very grateful to have the chance to meet some of the remarkable people who are serving the citizens of North Dakota, and to learn from them about both the opportunities and the challenges here. I have also been delighted to experience some of North Dakota’s legendary hospitality.”

North Dakota is the second largest oil producing state in the United States and it has the lowest unemployment rate in the country.  Williston is home to over 400 oilfield businesses and the top ten international oilfield service companies, including Baker Hughes, Halliburton, Nabors Drilling, Schlumberger, and General Electric.  According to the Williston Economic Development Council, population estimates show Williston and the surrounding trade area will expand to over 50,000 residents within the next four years.

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