Sen. Hoeven meets with Bis-Man Chamber of Commerce to address low commodities prices

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Two of the states leading industries agriculture and energy have been struggling due to low commodities prices. Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., met with members of the Bismarck-Mandan Chamber of Commerce to address how he can help those businesses from Washington.

It's never easy to be a farmer, but according to some, the last few years have been really tough.

"It's a stressful time right now. We've been fortunate, we've had great production for the last couple years, but if we don't see that in the next year or two these low commodities prices are, you know, very harmful," said Eric Hardmeyer, Bank of North Dakota president.

Hoeven thinks some policy changes can really help turn things around.

"Reducing the regulatory burden but also improving and reforming the tax code, making it simpler, fairer, lower and I think that combination can really help our economy grow," said Hoeven.

One of the biggest issues for farmers will be trade agreements.

"It's very important to our state to continue to be able to export our soy beans, our corn our wheat," said Hardmeyer.

Another hot topic was the energy industry, in particular the Obama administration's policies towards coal.

"With no warning they came out in the final reg and said no you have to reduce 45 percent. That would have imposed huge costs on our industry and very likely closed plants," said Hoeven

Despite all of this Hoeven has a positive outlook on the states two biggest sources of income.

"We're absolutely leading the country in agriculture, we're leading the country in energy, we doing more in technology to advance manufacturing in these other areas and so the things I described can really help us grow and again create good jobs," said Hoeven.

Hoeven says it's important to take what you hear from those on the ground and turn into good policy in Washington, D.C., something easier said than done.

One other topic Hoeven discussed was his hope for a new infrastructure package to help rebuild then nations roads and highways. His goal is to secure $1.5 billion for North Dakota's thoroughfares.