GRAND FORKS, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today hosted U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm in Grand Forks with U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, stressing the importance of North Dakota’s all-of-the-above energy policy to meeting the nation’s energy needs and highlighting the innovation happening in North Dakota to address and capitalize on carbon constraints in the energy sector.
Burgum and Hoeven, who both invited Granholm to visit the state, toured the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center with her before joining researchers and energy sector stakeholders for a roundtable discussion on the future of energy and how North Dakota is contributing to U.S. energy independence. Burgum noted that as the former governor of Michigan, Granholm understands the important role states can play in solving U.S. energy challenges and the interconnectedness between U.S. energy policy and national security.
Burgum invited Granholm to visit North Dakota during a phone call on May 12, just hours after he announced his challenge to make North Dakota a carbon-neutral state by 2030. Burgum noted that North Dakota hit the “geologic jackpot” with 252 billion tons of underground storage capacity – enough to store 4,400 years’ worth of the state’s carbon output or 50 years’ worth of the nation’s energy-related carbon output. North Dakota also was the first state to achieve primacy from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for Class VI injection wells for carbon dioxide, creating a regulatory framework to permit and attract carbon storage projects.
“We can reach carbon neutrality in the state of North Dakota by 2030 without a single mandate, without any additional regulation. We can get there just through the innovation and the different geology that we have,” Burgum said during today’s discussion. He noted that since the May announcement, the state has attracted interest and identified more than $25 billion in potential projects including carbon capture, hydrogen and biofuels.
“The amount of activity that’s driving toward how do we decarbonize our current fuels, and then how do we store carbon for the future and how do we diversify the fuel base – it’s really an incredible time,” the governor added. “We are excited to hear how the federal government is going to join the states, join the private sector, in investing in the technology to help us get to where we need (to be).”
Burgum again stressed the importance of innovation over regulation to maintain U.S. energy independence and security and encourage innovation and investment into solutions that will allow for a continued all-of-the-above energy approach that includes coal, oil and gas.