- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - An economic development official says the lack of natural gas service is hampering scores of communities in the state.

Economic Development Association of North Dakota President Connie Ova Communities says communities that lack natural gas are at an economic disadvantage.

Public Service Commission Chairwoman Julie Fedorchak says there are 368 North Dakota communities without natural gas service, compared with 89 communities that have it.

Fedorchak says extending natural gas pipelines can cost about $1 million a mile.

North Dakota lawmakers last year defeated a bill that would have allowed tax incentives to extend natural gas infrastructure. Lawmakers decided to study the issue instead.

Propane companies argued that the state should not provide the incentives and that the extension of natural gas infrastructure should be driven by the market.

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