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Obama endorses Bakken drilling in North Dakota

BISMARCK-Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has endorsed North Dakota oil drilling in response to the national Republican platform.

The GOP adopted a platform Wednesday with an energy plank that doesn't mention drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife, because their candidate, Sen. John McCain, opposes drilling in that protected area, the Associated Press reported. Many Republicans support drilling in ANWR.

In the platform, GOP delegates endorsed expanded drilling generally, both offshore and in Alaska, North Dakota and Montana, and declared that the Alaskan refuge should not be put off limits to the oil industry permanently.

Obama's statement, released late Wednesday, says he "believes that drilling in the Bakken Shale is an important development for North Dakota's economy" because of the substantial amount of oil that is estimated to be recoverable.

The campaign said Obama has long believed domestic production is important in solving the nation's energy crisis