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CANDIDATE MARVIN NELSON: Invest Legacy Fund dollars in nitrogen plant

The lack of capital for the building of the North Plains Nitrogen plant points to a major problem in North Dakota: the access to capital. The State Bank of North Dakota has helped that with loans, but loans don't fit many situations.

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The lack of capital for the building of the North Plains Nitrogen plant points to a major problem in North Dakota: the access to capital. The State Bank of North Dakota has helped that with loans, but loans don't fit many situations.

Here we are-a major user of ammonia, in need of projects to get the economy going again and yet still flaring gas. At the same time, North Dakota has billions of dollars it is investing, investing pretty much anywhere but North Dakota.

Startups are by nature somewhat risky investments. So, it can be difficult to justify the use of some of the state's funds. But as investors, we have a different sort of fund now: the Legacy Fund.

A serious discussion is in order. Why not make this one of the potential types of investments the Legacy Fund can make?

It might sound risky to invest, say, $500 million in a plant. But I would tell Herald readers that between tax breaks and necessary infrastructure, a lot more than that was going to be spent on building a similar plant at Jamestown, N.D.

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And that money that would be gone, with only the business activity to justify it.

So why would we be ready to spend that much, but not to invest that much?

Furthermore, because the Legacy Fund would be investing rather than spending the money, there wouldn't even be the need to wait until 2017.

Marvin Nelson

Rolla, N.D.

Nelson is the Democratic-NPL Party's candidate for North Dakota governor.

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