ND Protecting Status Quo on Energy Limits Our States Energy Potential

ND is falling behind in some important categories while state leaders are spending money protecting the status quo in energy and oil profits for out of state companies.
Recently ND has ranked well for national rankings. Here’s a Commerce Dept post featuring one of these as 8th best state for business from last year.
If we’re going to feature the good ratings, perhaps we should also acknowledge and address the not so good ratings as well?
Forbes recent article ranks North Dakota in the bottom 10 states for innovation.  Here’s the article ranking North Dakota #5 in the bottom 10 states for innovation:
5. North Dakota: Some North Dakotans disagree vehemently with this list, with one Bismarck radio station calling the report “bullcrap.” Nevertheless, numbers don’t lie, and North Dakota got poor marks for AP exam participation (it ranked 51), venture-capital funding per capita (47) and share of technology companies (46). 
~End Article~
This while other states are being innovative and future ready working towards developing capacity embracing and applying technology to transition toward energies of the future.

This is the antithesis of being innovative, future ready, and data driven. We need to do better.
Here’s one idea: We have the potential and transmission to produce and deliver electricity (We produce 36 Megawatt hours and export 20 million MWH) produced by cleaner natural gas by revamping our coal plants to burn natural gas. Natural gas works better than coal as baseload power with intermittent renewables as NG can be ramped up and down quickly.
Here’s one example of a coal plant being converted to burn natural gas in Joliet Illinois.
This would extend ND’s viability as an energy exporter as we embrace technology and work to develop and improve our own great cleaner renewable energy resources.
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